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Supervised drug consumption site already credited with reducing OD calls to paramedics

The volume of drug overdose calls to paramedics in Timmins is down dramatically… and a direct line is being drawn to the supervised consumption site on Cedar St. N.

Seamus Murphy is Deputy Chief – Standards and Community Services for Cochrane District EMS. He says that since the site opened in July, medics have only had four calls for overdoses. Two of them were to that location.

“One was for a person using the facility that had overdosed on tainted medication that she had purchased from a supplier off the street, I would imagine,” he states. Murphy says it’s suspected to be fentanyl tainted with benzodiazipines.  They’re tranquilizers that interfere with the function of naloxone which reverses the OD effect.

DRUG OVERDOSE AMBULANCE CALLS

So far in 2022: 189 (15 fatalities)

All of 2021: 321 (33 fatalities)

All of 2020: 275 (25 fatalities)

Murphy credits the centre and the initiatives by Drs. Julie Samson and Louisa Marion-Bellemare.

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He says before the facility opened in July, EMS was getting two or three the times more OD calls in the city. He refers to numbers so far this year.

“2022 we’ve had a total EMS calls of 189, with 15 fatalities. In 2021 we had 321 calls with 33 fatalities.”

Those figures for 2020 are 275 calls and 25 deaths.

 

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