Friday Overdose claims life of a Grandmother

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A lot of narcotic substances and devices for the preparation of drugs lie on an old wooden table. Drug dealer stuff. Heroin and methamphetamine in raw condition. Narcotic addiction concept

In the early evening hours of Friday, January 29th a women lost her battle with drugs in the 100 block of James Street.

Some inside the addiction community who work hand and hand with those struggling say Miranda 40, may have been the target of a “hotshot”. She also could have just been the victim of drug poisoning, as was described by Algoma Public Health over the weekend.

“Hotshotting” is a term used by those in the addiction community to describe an intentionally lethal dose of a drug that is introduced into the body. The Urban Dictionary defines “hotshots” as “A lethal dose of heroine, either too high a dose or mixed with some other harmful agent. When it is given to its unaware victim the result is an Overdose or death.”

APH over the weekend issued a warning alongside Sault Ste. Marie Paramedic Services about an uptick in drug-related calls.

“Every week across Algoma we monitor suspected opioid poisonings, confirmed opioid poisonings and EMS responses to opioid poisoning events using 3 separate databases. We consider an alert to be triggered when we see counts above a certain limit that is calculated based on the previous 12 weeks of data,” said Jordan Robson, Epidemiologist at Algoma Public Health in the press release.

The release continues, street drugs can be mixed with dangerous substances, like fentanyl, that can cause an opioid poisoning. You may not be able to taste, smell or see it.

An opioid poisoning occurs when a person uses more of a substance, or a combination of substances, than their body can handle. Opioid poisonings can be fatal.

No matter what happened Friday night above the former Al’s pub, one thing is for certain, a 40-year-old mother of six and grandmother of three left behind a family devastated and torn, with a lot of unanswered questions.

SaultOnline sends their condolences to the family. If you or anyone else you know is struggling with addiction, you can reach out to CONNEXONTARIO at 1-866-531-2600 or the Algoma Public Health.

10 COMMENTS

  1. This happened to my mother here in SSM on October 15th 2020. The two responsible people have still not been arrested but justice will be served.

    • What I’d like to know is.. “Why?.. why haven’t they been arrested?” It really bothers me that these people are still walking around, free to do it again, and continue on with what they do. If you know who these 2 people are, and I’m assuming, you’ve brought this to the attention of the narcotics unit at the SSM police department.. why hasn’t anything been done about it? That’s what my question would be. W5 did that documentary of “Steeltown Down” Like how friggin long ago, and the problem’s only gotten worse, not better. It has been brought to our Mayor’s attention on several occasions, and at one of the City Council meetings that I happen to catch on channel 10 (local channel on Mondays).. I remember at this particular meeting, there were 2 woman that brought forth a proposal to have a legit treatment facility here, equipped with properly trained social workers and medical staff.. and the answer they received from our Mayor was basically.. it would be something that had to be discussed, and yada yada yada.. that’s all folks! Know how long ago that particular City Council meeting was..? Over a year ago, and I haven’t personally heard anything else about it. Truth is, in my own personal opinion.. I don’t think he gives a hoot. I’ve heard he wants to turn the Station Mall into condo’s, etc.. I was like, “Condo’s?!!” For who?? There isn’t going to be anybody left here for cryin-out-loud! This place has been turned into a ghost-town pretty much as it is.. and he wants to build more waterfront condo’s!!? I think everyone can pretty much guess where his agenda is headed, and it has NOTHING to do with opening up any facilities to help with the out-of-control opioid crisis here in the Sault. Could it be possible that these elites of SSM are just waiting for ppl to weed-themselves out.. I don’t know, but whatever is going on.. it’s not good.

  2. SAFE DRUG CONSUMPTION SITES

    The first supervised injection service opened 30 years ago in Switzerland. Today there are more than 90 supervised injection services worldwide, including in Europe, Australia and Canada.

    They save thousands of lives — people were revived from overdoses 2,275 times in Ontario’s 19 federally approved injection sites in 2018.

    In the first three months of 2019, the Toronto Sherbourne St. site was visited 6,484 times by drug users. Workers reversed 257 overdoses, usually by pumping oxygen into the victim, sometimes by injecting opioid-blocking naloxone.

    By the numbers

    137,711 – visits to 24 officially designated supervised drug consumption sites in Ontario in 2018

    2,275 – overdoses reversed at designated consumption sites in 2018

    59,257 – visits to designated consumption sites in first 3 months of 2019

    1,017 – overdoses reversed at consumption sites in first 3 months of 2019

    1,471 – deaths apparently due to opioid overdoses in 2018

    0 – deaths at consumption sites in 2018, and first three months of 2019

    With the pandemic, there is a more lethal drug supply due to border closures, more drugs containing Fentanyl and, recently, Benzodiazepines. This has sent addictions services scrambling to help users across the country as opioid overdoses and the resultant death toll continue to mount.

    In Ottawa, the injection facility halved the number of booths to ensure distancing when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March, resulting in a “huge increase” in overdoses in the surrounding community.

    Toronto Public Health opened the city’s first permanent supervised injection service on November 8, 2017. Located inside The Works at 277 Victoria Street, this life-saving health service provides a safe and hygienic environment for people to inject pre-obtained “clean” drugs under the supervision of qualified staff.

    The Works is staffed by eight full-time and unionized city employees who have benefits and higher salaries.

    Clients arrive at the program with pre-obtained drugs. Each person is assessed to ensure they are eligible for the program.

    They are given sterile injecting equipment and instruction on safer injecting practices. A nurse then supervises their injection in a room dedicated for this purpose and intervenes in the case of any medical emergencies.

    Once the individual has injected their drugs, they are directed to a waiting room where they continue to be observed for any negative drug reactions. They also receive information and referrals about other health and social supports and services at the agency or elsewhere in the community.

    International and Canadian research shows that supervised injections services have benefits both for individuals using the services and for the community, including:

    1) Reducing the number of drug overdoses and deaths
    2) Reducing risk factors leading to infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis
    3) Connecting people with other health and social services
    4) Reducing the amount of publicly discarded needles
    5) Cost-effectiveness
    6) Not contributing to crime or increased drug use in the local community

    In addition to supervised injection, individuals using these health services will be provided with sterile injection supplies, education on overdose prevention and intervention, health counselling services and referrals to drug treatment, housing, income support and other services.

    Supervised injection services do not contribute to more crime.
    There is considerable research on this subject. For example, in the neighbourhood around InSite in Vancouver, there has been actual decreases in vehicle break-ins and thefts. Australian studies have found decreases in drug-related crime, public drug use and loitering.

    The government says it plans to invest $3.8 billion over the next decade to implement a “comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions treatment strategy, including a “Centre of Excellence” to help people access “integrated and standardized” services across the province.

    Provincial funding also includes $31.3 million for up to more sites called Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS). It’s a new harm reduction model that continues supervised injections while adding a focus on connecting drug users to treatment and rehab. Budgets for these new sites “can include funding for benefits and training for frontline staff,” the ministry states.

    In Canada, legal operation of a supervised injection service requires an exemption under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). Exemptions are granted by the federal Minister of Health. In 2015, the federal government passed the Respect for Communities Act, which outlines the process and criteria for applicants seeking a Section 56 exemption.

    There are currently 37 supervised drug injection sites in Canada, including 24 in Ontario, 9 in Toronto and 4 in Ottawa. Other cities in Ontario include Thunder Bay, London, St. Catherines, Guelph, Hamilton and Kitchener.

    Isn’t it time for Sault Ste Marie to apply?

    • Hi Peter Chow. I would love to have a conversation with you regarding this topic. I too have the same views. Please reply and I will provide you with my email address.

    • I worked at the 1st safe injection site in Vancouver for over a year and this city really does need 1 OPS (overdose prevention site) was 1 of the best experiences I ever had they really do save sooo many people ..

      D.B.

  3. RIP Miranda I will miss you and just wished that I was there to help you Dam drugs .You were a great fried and I’ll always have our Memories Rest Easy my friend

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