FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2017
Police Officers Forgotten in Opioid Crisis Announcement
Queen’s Park – Today in Question Period, PC Health Critic Jeff Yurek grilled the Wynne government for its failure to include police services in their recent opioid crisis announcement.
“Police officers are often first to find those who have overdosed, and run the risk of inadvertently ingesting the illicit drugs during their duty placing their lives at risk,” said Yurek. “That’s why we find it troubling the Wynne government has chosen not to assist police services in purchasing the life-saving drug naloxone for its front line officers,” Yurek continued.
Last month a Guelph Police officer was exposed to the deadly opioid fentanyl at the scene of a collision. Fortunately, paramedics were on scene and were able to treat the officer before rushing him to hospital. The growing risk of accidental exposure and lack of provincial support has left many police services struggling to find money to equip their officers with this life-saving treatment. This has created a two-tiered system in the province where some officers have access to naloxone, and others do not.
“The Wynne government has been too slow to act on this crisis which has placed a heavy burden on police budgets across the province,” said Yurek. “Police organizations have been left to shift money in their budget to pay for naloxone, which often comes at the cost of other police services that keep our public safe,” stated Yurek.
“We need leadership and support for our police officers throughout the province. The Wynne government needs to commit to putting naloxone in the heads of all front line police officers before it’s too late,” Yurek concluded.
Whitney McWilliam | P: 226-448-6741 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org