Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will use the RIDE campaign to warn people about the use of illegal drugs that can kill.
Teaming up with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the OPP believe this is an innovative approach to combat opioid use which has become increasingly deadly.
More people are dying as result of taking drugs laced with opioids, particularly fentanyl, a narcotic that is primarily used to treat patients in extreme pain. Fentanyl is so potent that even miniscule amounts can be lethal. It is showing up in drugs such as heroin to give it extra strength for users seeking an additional boost to their drug habit. However, the uncontrolled concoctions sold by illegal drug dealers are now killing their clients at a rate unseen before.
It is believed the number of Canadians who have died as a result of all opioid use in 2017 will reach more than 3,000.
During the RIDE campaign, which continues until the New Year, OPP and police departments throughout Simcoe will hand out information cards to drivers explaining the different type of street opioids and how to recognize signs of an overdose as well as other information and research.
The program comes on the heels of recent local round table discussions that included health professionals and police about the increase use of opioids in the area. The result of the talks has been the development of various action plans, including the information cards that will be handed out to drivers as part of the awareness program.