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HomeNewsPolice and Paramedics concerned about spike in drug overdoses in Peterborough

Police and Paramedics concerned about spike in drug overdoses in Peterborough

PETERBOROUGH-In just over 24 hours, 13 people overdosed on drugs in Peterborough according to Deputy Police Chief Tim Farquharson. 2 people died and four others were VSA (vital signs absent) when emergency crews arrived on the scene. They were revived by paramedics.

Police, Paramedics and the Peterborough Health Unit held a joint news conference today to warn of the dangers.

“We are dealing with a contamination of the market.” Deputy Chief Tim Farquharson told Kawartha 411 News.

Farquharson says that the word on the street is the drug Purple Heroin, a deadly mixture of Heroin and Fentanyl, is to blame. Farquharson thinks it might also have some Carfentanyl in it. Carfentanyl is a tranquilizer for large animals. An amount the size of of a grain of salt can kill a human.

The two recent deaths bring the total number of overdose deaths in Peterborough to 18 so far this year. That’s more than all of 2018 when there was 17 for the entire year.

While Farquharson feels the current approach of harm reduction and treatment of overdose with Naloxone is saving lives he feels more needs to be done in terms of treatment. Not only treating the addiction but treating the underlying issues that lead to addiction. Specifically when it comes to young people. “We need to work with our youth.” Farquharson explained. “Youth resiliency, it could be that Grade 8 party they didn’t get invited to, or some other event that wasn’t dealt with when they were young that leads to addiction. We need to tech youth how to health with these issues and be able to bounce back.”

There was a similar spike in overdoses last weekend in Lindsay. Kawartha Lakes Police (KLPS) said 5 people overdosed over the weekend. None were fatal. KPLS also believes the drug was Purple Heroin. Here’s more on the story. https://www.kawartha411.ca/2019/05/29/police-seize-deadly-purple-heroin-after-5-drug-overdoses-in-lindsay-on-the-weekend/

From January 2016 to September 2018 there were 10,300 apparent opioid related deaths in Canada according to Statistics Canada.

The number of people in Kawartha Lakes region who died from an opioid overdose jumped 5 fold in the first six months of 2018 according to the most recent statistics available from the Coroners Office.

From January 2018 to June 2018, 11 people died (confirmed and probable)of an opioid overdose in the City of Kawartha Lakes/Haliburton/Northumberland cachement area. That’s up sharply from only 2 deaths in the first six months of 2017 and more than the entire year .

“The presence of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues in the illicit drug supply has been increasing, and this has been attributed to an increase in unintentional overdoses and deaths. And this poisoning crisis shows no signs of slowing down.” Megan Deyman, Coordinator – Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland Drug Strategy told Kawartha 411 News.

Read the full story here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2019/01/23/opioid-deaths-skyrocket-in-kawartha-lakes-and-peterborough/

22 year old Destiny Miller had a rough childhood. She lived on the streets in Kitchener and was bounced around from foster home to foster home for years before becoming a Crown Ward. “That child was fierce, she fought so courageously in spite of her traumatic childhood.” her adoptive mother Manina Murphy told Kawartha 411 News.

Murphy believes it was Destiny’s childhood that lead to her drug addiction. Murphy, who lives in Bobcaygeon, took Destiny in when she was 17 years old. She did not technically adopt her but both of them thought of her as a mother.  A mother who already had some experience with a child who was addicted to drugs and she wanted to give Destiny a safe place to call home. Murphy’s daughter Samantha met Destiny in rehab. They became close friends and Destiny became part of the family, a family she had never really had before.

The two girls came from vastly different backgrounds. “Destiny was first an IV drug user and she did crystal meth and that’s what she grew up with, there was a lot of childhood trauma.” Murphy explained. “Samantha, she had a great childhood, not that we were wealthy but we did ok and the kids were in activites, we did family vacations. This can happen to anyone.”

Read the story here: https://www.kawartha411.ca/2019/04/12/little-girl-lost-the-face-of-the-opioid-crisis-in-kawartha-lakes/

According to Farquharson a crystal meth epidemic is on our doorstep and could be the next drug taking lives.

Crystal Meth is a dangerous and potent chemical that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body. Thus it is associated with serious health conditions, including memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior and potential heart and brain damage according to Drugfreeworld.org.

Highly addictive, meth burns up the body’s resources, creating a devastating dependence that can only be relieved by taking more of the drug. Crystal meth’s effect is highly concentrated, and many users report getting hooked (addicted) from the first time they use it.



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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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