Delving into the numbers and the issue of opioid abuse in the north, 'It is a quite a problem'
Published Friday, August 11, 2017 3:33PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 11, 2017 6:36PM EDT
Sault Ste. Marie is no stranger when it comes to the opioid crisis sweeping across North America.
Road to Recovery is a clinic that helps people with their addictions.
"We have a steady flow of clients," said Patrick Lento, a registered practical nurse.
"It is a quite a problem in Sault Ste. Marie, opioid dependency."
Road to Recovery opened up in March 2016, with two registered practical nurses on site and a doctor who sees clients through teleconference.
On an average day, 25 people walk through the doors, looking for help.
"We could see somebody who used heroin in the morning or we could see somebody that has been off opioids for a week and they are sweating. They're experiencing nausea, vomiting. Their eyes are watering and their nose is runny. They’re sneezing. They're sweaty and they're gray," explained Katrina Reed, a registered practical nurse.
"You can tell they just can't even stand, and they need help."
"We see all opioids, anything from Tylenol with codeine to oxycodone to heroine to fentanyl," Lento said.
Those are just some of the popular drugs that police in north eastern Ontario are dealing with.
According to the police services in the four major cities, the following drugs were seized most often in 2016.
In North Bay, methamphetamine was the most commonly seized drug; with a street value of $84,000.
In Timmins, it was also methamphetamine tablets, as well; worth $25,000.
In Sudbury, police were able to seize $570,000 worth of cocaine and $386,000 worth of fentanyl.
In Sault Ste. Marie, police seized over $127,000 worth of cocaine.
Police in the Sault say the dependency on drugs leads to an increase in crime - especially breaks ins and armed robberies - as addicts try to find money to buy drugs.
As police battle the street crime and selling of illegal drugs, places like Road to Recovery stay busy.
In just over a year, the clinic has served a couple of hundred people.
Staff hope the city doesn't get hit with an overdose crisis like other communities across Canada.