Shelters, older people seeing increases in opioid overdoses

New numbers show that places where overdoses happen are shifting, a report from the police board indicates.

Last year, by far the most overdoses happened across the region in homes with 280. That’s over 100 more than the next highest place where overdoses were reported, which was shelters.

Through the first three months of 2019, though, shelters are seeing the highest overdose numbers with 76, compared to 58 so far in residences.

Kitchener is still seeing the highest number of reported overdoses, with 117 through the end of March. That’s compared to 50 in Cambridge and 14 in Waterloo.

The ages of those overdosing are also treading higher.

A total of 225 people overdosed between the ages of 24 and 33 last year. Only 46 people have overdosed in that age category through the first quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, the number of people who overdosed in the 54 to 63 age range is already reaching similar levels to the year before, with 23 through March compared to 30 through all of 2018.

Kitchener council has approved its first safe consumption site, slated to open on Duke Street West, but is still waiting for approval from regional council.

There’s also the matter of provincial funding: the government is only providing funding for another six sites across the province.