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Huntsville OPP report opiate related deaths at a low
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Huntsville OPP report opiate related deaths at a low

Posted: 2024-05-28 07:28:55 By: thebay

Huntsville OPP reported that opiate related deaths are at a low, in the May 27, 2024, Council meeting.

The Muskoka Street Crime Unit (MSCU) reported that opioid occurrences have decreased since Covid.

For instance, in 2021 they had 59 occurrences related to opioids, however, this year there have been 6 so far. They said the trend is decreasing.

The MSCU indicated that there was a four-year trend in related deaths since 2021. They were at an all time high during Covid. 85% were correlated with Fentanyl.

In addition to drug trafficking the unit also deals with firearms (handguns and long guns) and violence.

The MSCU reported they have had 951 occurrences in the past three years. 20 of these were seizing guns, along with large quantities of cocaine and Fentanyl.

They indicated that they seized four times the amount of Fentanyl than last year, and death rates have decreased given the seizing of the drugs.

In 2023 they received a grant for gang violence and drug investigations which helps provide them with more resources to combat it.

They indicate that time is also needed for crimes, especially drug investigations.

Council members expressed appreciation for the work the MSCU does.

Mayor, Nancy Alcock, said, “The numbers are quite staggering.”

Councillor, Monty Clouthier, inquired about whether drugs are from residents or being brought in from elsewhere.

The MSCU advised that majority of it is coming out of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), which is one of their focuses – drug traffickers coming into the community.

Clouthier, inquired about problem areas that are known within the community and prevention.

MSCU indicated that concerns about weapons or drugs are investigated, and people can call their service line with complaints as well.

Deputy Mayor, Dan Armour, inquired about whether the decrease in opioid deaths is because of the availability of Narcan, the nasal spray that reverses the impact during an overdose.

The MSCU advised that the high levels of isolation during Covid had an impact, resulting in higher usage and deaths. Also, given that Narcan is widely available, the police aren’t called as often as users can treat themselves, or others can help them, therefore, the numbers are also higher than what’s reported to the OPP.

They added that community programs have had an impact on statistics as well. 

Councillor, Dione Schumacher, inquired about whether drug traffickers still target the younger age groups.

The MSCU advised that they target people that use drugs, regardless of their age.

Councillor, Scott Morrison, suggested that many drug users also have mental health issues and inquired about the role of the Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT).

The MSCU advised that the MCRT can only help people that want it. They said, “The resources are there if