Opioid overdoses are claiming the lives of thousands of people across Ontario and are steadily increasing.
The statistics and numbers related to overdoses do not capture the profound distress being felt by those impacted. Observers may hesitate to call 911 for fear of police involvement. To encourage people to seek life-saving assistance the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are launching the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (GSDOA) public awareness campaign.
The OPP is upholding its commitment to the Ontario Mobilization and Engagement Model of Community Policing and is using a collaborative approach to disseminate this public awareness campaign. Partnering with other community organizations will help the OPP better connect with people that are directly impacted by this Act.
The OPP has created posters, information cards, and community safety videos to help educate the public and community agencies. These resources as well as other additional information about the GSDOA can be found by visiting: www.opp.ca/overdose and OPP social media accounts.
The law does provide protection against charges for:
· Possessing drugs for your own use
· Violating conditions of your parole, bail, probation, or conditional sentence for a simple drug possession charge
The law does not provide protection against charges for:
· Trafficking illegal drugs
· Offences other than drug possession
· Any outstanding arrest warrants
· Violating conditions of your parole, bail, probation, or conditional sentence for an offence that is not simple possession
"At the centre of the OPP's response to the opioid crisis is the spirit of the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which is intended to save lives. The OPP is determined to take every step possible to help our citizens, our communities, and our partners who are impacted by the opioid crisis," said OPP Superintendent Bryan MacKillop, Director, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau.