HAMILTON — The NDP’s critic for Mental Health and Addiction Monique Taylor is demanding action on the opioid crisis after the release of the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network’s new report, which shows opioid-related deaths have skyrocketed by 75 per cent during the pandemic:
“Ford’s cuts in the middle of the opioid crisis are hurting families and costing lives across Ontario. Since taking office, Ford has made this crisis worse by shutting down the Ontario Emergency Opioid Task Force and cutting the number of overdose prevention sites.
The numbers from the ODPRN report show that the crisis is only getting worse. From March to December last year, 2,050 people died from opioid overdoses. That’s 2,050 families mourning the loss of a loved one due to addiction. It’s especially painful knowing these deaths could have been prevented if harm reduction services and addiction treatment beds were available and easily accessible in our province. Sadly, these critical services are few and far between due to this government’s continued inaction.
Ford must stop ignoring this public health crisis and act immediately to prevent deaths. At the very minimum, he must reconvene the Opioid Emergency Task Force. Ignoring this crisis won’t make it go away, and will only lead to more pain and suffering for Ontario families.”