An opioid addiction and overdose strategy for Simcoe and Muskoka is slowly coming together.

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Manager of Injury and Substance Misuse Program Janice Greco says they’ve been working on the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy with emergency service representatives to try and bring these numbers down.

According to the health unit, there were 271 opioid overdose-related emergency room visits in the region in 2016. Seventeen of those were in Muskoka. This year the health unit has recorded 179 visits between January and June with 10 in Muskoka.

In response to these numbers, the health unit started meeting with emergency officials earlier this year to start building the opioid strategy. Health unit officials hope to have the full strategy ready by next March.

Greco says they’ve already rolled out part of that strategy early by equipping all local police, firefighters and paramedics with Naloxone.

The OPP in Muskoka is also getting a head start on opioid education and awareness by handing out information pamphlets during its Festive RIDE campaign this winter. The handouts have details on how to recognize the signs of an overdose and what you can do to save a life. The Festive Ride campaign is running until January 2nd.

Previous stories:

Health officials come together to address rising numbers in opioid overdoses in Simcoe Muskoka

Opioid education added to Festive RIDE checks in Muskoka this year