Opioid overdoses are claiming the lives of thousands of Canadians of all ages, and from all walks of life. Many of these deaths are preventable if medical attention is received quickly, but evidence shows that witnesses to an overdose often do not call 911 for fear of police involvement.

On February 22, 2021 an officer from the City of Kawartha Lakes detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a 9-1-1 related to an unresponsive person.

Upon arrival at a residence within the City of Kawartha Lakes, the officer observed that CPR was being performed on the unresponsive person who was lying on the floor.  The officer then successfully administered naloxone.

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (GSDOA) came into force in May 2017. The purpose of the Act is to reduce fear of police attending overdose events and encourage people to seek life-saving assistance and stay with a victim in the event of an overdose. 

The GSDOA can protect individuals who experience or witness an overdose from:

•          Charges for possession of a controlled substance (i.e. drugs) under section 4(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

•          Breach of conditions regarding simple possession of controlled substances (i.e. drugs) in: pre-trial release, probation orders, conditional sentences and parole.

The impact of the opioid crisis continues to be devastating to individuals, families and communities. If you witness an over dose, call 9-1-1 and stay with the individual until help arrives. The City of Kawartha Lakes OPP values your contribution to building safe communities.

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