Opioid Death Toll Raises Serious Concerns

    Since January 2020, 13 individuals have died as a result of drug overdoses, 11 of which can be directly linked to opioids. The announcement comes with a caution to all drug users to be extremely cautious in what they are using and who they are buying from.

    Concern continues to rise around the number of opioid related deaths in Yukon. Since January 2020, 13 individuals have died as a result of drug overdoses, 11 of which can be directly linked to opioids. The numbers were jointly released today by Yukon's Chief Coroner Heather Jones, Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley and Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost.

    The announcement comes with a caution to all drug users to be extremely cautious in what they are using and who they are buying from. In May this year, the coroner and Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health issued a first warning, advising individuals not to use alone and to ensure they have a naloxone kit readily available.

    Yukon Chief Coroner Heather Jones reported that a majority of the recent drug overdoses involved fentanyl and disproportionately affected young adults.

    Minister of Health and social Services, Pauline Frost says there are currently plans under way to expand drug testing and explore the possibility of a supervised consumption site in Yukon.

    Opioid Treatment Services at the Referred Care Clinic located on 210 Elliot Street, does not require a referral; anyone can access these services, which include strong social supports.

    Increased harm reduction and Naloxone training throughout the territory is being delivered by the Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator from Mental Wellness and Substance Use (MWSU) and Blood Ties Four Directions. Training will take place in Watson Lake week of August 3, 2020, with four days of training for EMS physicians, RCMP and firefighters.

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