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Virtual town hall to address Waterloo Region drug issues

There have been 544 confirmed or suspected overdose deaths in the region since 2017, according to updated data from the Waterloo Region Integrated Drug Strategy
The town hall will take place June 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Regional councillor Rob Deutschmann will be hosting a virtual town hall on June 1 to discuss Waterloo Region’s drug-related crisis.

Several experts in the fields of drug strategy, health care, social services and education will join in on the discussion as guest speakers.

The purpose of the free public meeting is to outline key aspects of the drug poisoning issues the community is facing, explore opportunities to improve local prevention and response measures and dive into visions for a safer and healthier community.

Most recent data from the Waterloo Region Integrated Drug Strategy shows there have been 27 suspected overdose related deaths in the region in 2023 as of May 5. 

Last year saw 85 suspected overdose deaths.

In 2021, 112 deaths occurred, which includes final data from the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario. 

The numbers become even more concerning when looking at Canada on an international level.

According to research done by Medical Aid in 2019, Canada ranked second behind only the United States in drug-related deaths per 100,000 people at 9.86. That equates to 3,686 deaths.

The study also found that 789,317 people in the country were struggling with drug use disorder, a stark 54 per cent increase from 1990.

Globally, drug-related deaths have risen 43 per cent since 2000.

Participants in the town hall will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide their thoughts after the guest speaker portion of the presentation.

For more information on the town hall, the guest speakers and to register visit