All front-line provincial police officers in Ontario will be equipped with naloxone kits as the force says the deadly opioid fentanyl has become a concern across the province.
Ontario Provincial Police say each front-line officer will carry two doses of naloxone nasal spray while on duty, while members of selected specialized units will each be issued a personal kit.
The force says Health Canada testing has determined fentanyl was present in 114 OPP seizures in 2016 from the mainly rural communities it serves.
Test results for 2017 are not yet available, but the OPP say the number of seizures with suspected fentanyl present appears to be similar to 2016 levels.
The OPP is not the first police force in the province to equip front-line officers with naloxone – officers in Barrie and Durham Region are among those already carrying the opioid antidote.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can reverse an opioid overdose for approximately 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the strength of the opioid.