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Northern Ontario still dealing with higher than average opioid deaths


As Ontario's chief coroner says opioid deaths are slowing down in Ontario, northern communities continue to rank higher than the rest of the province. Algoma and Sudbury districts share the second-highest number of opioid related deaths per-capita, behind Thunder Bay, which sits at number one.

The latest stats on opioid mortality rates in both districts sit at 50 deaths per 100,000 people, which is far above the provincial average of 19.7. People aged 30 to 59 remain the most affected.

Save Our Young Adults (SOYA) is a grassroots group in Sault Ste. Marie that helps people with addiction get into treatment. Founder Connie Raynor-Elliott said while a withdrawal management facility is being built in the Sault, people are continuing to die of overdoses.

"It can't open soon enough," she said.

"I know it's because of the supply chain (challenges) and Mayor Shoemaker is fighting to get back our day treatment, which is very important because we don't really have a treatment centre. And we, again, need more funding. It all comes down to more funding. The numbers are climbing and I'm really afraid for this winter."

SOYA will hold a candle-light vigil next week for people who have died of drug overdoses. It will be held at the memorial wall outside of city hall where more names are expected to be added.

For more information on the vigil, visit SOYA’s Facebook page. Top Stories

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