Three men dead following suspected drug overdoses in Durham Region
Chris Fox, CTV Toronto
Published Friday, August 11, 2017 7:00AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 11, 2017 6:45PM EDT
Three men are dead as a result of suspected drug overdoses in Durham Region overnight and police say that they believe fentanyl is to blame.
Police say that two men were found dead at a residence on Falby Court in Ajax and another was found dead at a home in Courtice.
Though toxicology tests have not yet been conducted, police say that they believe all three men died of drug overdoses involving fentanyl.
“People are buying drugs thinking they are getting one type of drug, however sometimes they are being mixed with fentanyl, which is a very strong drug and it can be lethal as you can see in these three cases,” Const. George Tudos told CP24 on Friday morning. “You never know what kind of drugs you are getting.”
Tudos said that a recent spike in drug overdoses is a concern to Durham police, as well as other police services in the GTA.
He said that many front-line officers are equipped with the drug naloxone, which can which can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose.
That drug, however, must be administered in the early stages of an overdose.
“We are trying our best to try to combat the issue but I think the main thing is trying to educate people about these drugs and showing them just how dangerous they can be,” Tudos said.
Two people also hospitalized in York Region
The fatalities in Durham Region weren’t the only incidents involving a suspected drug overdose in the GTA overnight.
A 22-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman were also taken to hospital following a suspected drug overdose in Vaughan.
Police say that they located both patients outside a residence on Ventura Way at around 4 a.m.
One of them was lying on the ground while another was lying on the hood of a car.
Police say that both the man and the woman were initially reported to be unconscious, however they were in a semi-conscious state when officers arrived on scene.
Both were subsequently taken to hospital. Though their status is not known, police say that their condition improved once they arrived at the hospital.
The incidents are part of an alarming trend, which has prompted some officials to openly talk of a opioid “crisis.”
Over a four-day period in late July there were a total of 24 drug overdoses in Toronto, four of which were fatal.
Then last week, two women were found dead of a suspected drug overdose in an Etobicoke apartment and a man was also pronounced dead after collapsing in the elevator of a downtown condominium building following a suspected drug overdose.
In light of the overdoses, officials in Toronto have vowed to speed up the opening of three planned safe injection sites and look at purchasing naloxone in bulk to get it into the hands of more people.