Sunday , April 11 2021

Local awareness measures require that drug users not be used alone

Heartbreaking reports of increasing suspicion of overdose deaths continue to move to social proxies advocate Brandon Bailey's social media accounts.

"It sounds like they're continuous," said Bailey. During the last two weeks, he became aware of three suspected overdoses in Windsor.

"People send me messages if they hear about the death of overdose. The Windsor drug community is small enough that we are interconnected in one way or another."

Bailey and other members of the Windsor Overdose Prevention Society have circulated information leaflets in several city areas where they know that people are using drugs.

Flyers urge drug users to never be used alone, and if necessary, Bailey will contact them at their homes or sidewalks to make sure they do not lose overdose.

He made the same request for Facebook at the end of November shortly after his friend's loss of opioid overdose.

More recently, on December 3, Bailey said that a woman she has known for 26 years in her apartment has died.

"I have not heard the toxicology report, but we are not stupid, we know what has happened," Bailey said.

He heard of another death caused by an overdose of 6 December near the west end of the coffee shop in the bathroom and another at the hotel Windsor on December 11.

The Windsor Police Service did not have the information to share these events.

"Our service did not have the latest release of this type of news," said Steve Betteridge, Department of State's Information Society Officer, in an e-mail message.

Dr. Dirk Huyer, principal coroner of Ontario, also had no information about these specific deaths.

"I know there were some concerns a few weeks ago," Huiree said, referring to reports of five overdose deaths in Windsor for the 24-hour period from 10 to 11 November. "When we see something like that, we try to step up to see if there is any particular substance that we did not know before."

In five reported deaths caused by overdose, the WPS spokesman said there was a suspicion of using fentanyl.

Huyer said he could not share the test results with the media.

Huiers said that in the first six months of 2018, there were 11 deaths in Windsor with opioid related deaths, which means a decrease from 2017.

"We've seen improvements in Windsor, well, that they are down, and hopefully they continue to go down," Huyer said. "I can tell you that they are not down the rest of Ontario.

According to the province, opioid-related deaths in the first six months of 2018 have increased by 16 percent year-on-year.

In total, Ontario had 1265 opiate-related deaths in 2017, of which 30 were in Windsor.

As for Bailey, he will continue to fight for a safe injection site and lead the police to take a deadly naloxone kit.

"People know the risks there," he said. "But at the same time, many people have so much pain that they are willing to take the risk of calming the pain. I communicate every day, and most people with whom I speak do not want to die. If they use the injection site, people do not die."

On Thursday, a fentanyl detection kit is displayed. The Vindzor Overdose Association distributes them to local drug users.

Dan Janisse /

Windsor star

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