[URBAN NOTE] “Fentanyl crisis moving east and leaders in Toronto hope to stop the epidemic’s spread”
The National Post hosts Diana Mehta’s Canadian Press article noting how Toronto is preparing for the imminent onslaught of fentanyl. This CBC report suggests some is already here: Can civic leaders prepare before its effect hits here, hard?
The fentanyl-fuelled opioid crisis that has wreaked havoc in British Columbia is moving east, and the mayor of Toronto hopes a united and rapid response will help save lives in Canada’s most populous city.
Part of that effort begins Monday, with the first meeting of the Toronto Overdose Early Warning and Alert Partnership, which will bring together politicians, public health officials, first-responders, the coroner’s office, community groups and other stakeholders.
“I don’t think that we can sit back and be complacent for one moment,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in an interview. “The first thing you have to do is to form a partnership that sort of says everybody is going to be at the table, exchanging information, exchanging knowledge.”
While the full scope of fentanyl-related problems in the city isn’t known at this point, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Toronto’s acting medical officer of health, said there are already troubling figures indicating an uptick.
In 2015, there were 45 fentanyl-related overdose deaths recorded, up from 23 deaths in 2014, Yaffe said. Figures for 2016 are not yet available.