Nursing chief to Windsor police chief: Allow naloxone and safe consumption sites
WINDSOR -- The CEO of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario is touring the province to hear community issues. And during a stop in Windsor Monday, Doris Grinspon had a message for new police chief, Pam Mizuno.
“I know she said the police should carry naloxone, they need to use naloxone,” says Grinspon. “But they need to make a statement about moving ahead with the evidence and opening this consumption services and being onside for that."
Grinspon says the need is highlighted by recent overdose alerts at area hospitals and opioid deaths, noting it's "beyond understanding" why police aren't carrying naloxone.
Windsor is the only major city in Ontario where police officers are not equipped with naloxone, which interrupts the effects of an opioid overdose.
Mizuno told CTV Windsor in October Windsor police will continue to monitor the issue to see if a change in policy is needed.
"If the landscape changes and the situation in our city changes, we're constantly going to assess and if need be, we will issue naloxone," says Mizuno. "But at this point in time, the data we have, we're going to continue with not issuing those kits at the moment."
According to Public Health Ontario, 22 people in Windsor-Essex died from an opioid overdose in the first three months of this year. That is double the number from the same period in 2018.
The data also shows there were 51 opioid-related deaths in Windsor-Essex last year.
Grinspon also believes the city needs to get moving on safe consumption sites – also known as supervised injection sites.
The RNAO head says she's encouraged Chief Mizuno is taking a more open stance than her predecessor, Al Frederick. Grinspon is calling on Mizuno to make a statement in support of submitting an application to the province, immediately.
Grinspon tells CTV News it will save lives and improve health care.
"They are your family; they are your neighbour; they are your coworkers,” Grinspon says. “The same as we treat a heart attack in the street, we need to help people that have substance abuse because it's a disease like any other disease."