Opioids are a scourge in many Ontario communities and Orillia is not immune.
That's why the public is invited to a forum (Opioids in our Community) hosted by the Orillia Opioid Committee to learn more about what is happening in the city.
To be held at the Orillia Youth Centre on March 21 (6:30 p.m.), there will be representatives from police, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Hospice Orillia, Youth Haven, the local health unit, as well as parents who have lost children to drug use, and they will be sharing their stories and what they saw in their young people.
Orillia Youth Centre director Kevin Gangloff says the evening will be really interactive and there will be a space created for people to ask questions.
He says there is not a lot of leeway in terms of how deadly opioids are, adding there are stories of first time users passing away.
Gangloff calls the opioid crisis indiscriminate and challenging.
As for what people will take away from the forum, he says that is going to be very personal as a cross section of the community is expected to turn out.
According to the health unit, there were 31 confirmed and four probable opioid-related deaths in Simcoe-Muskoka during the first six months of 2018.
In 2017, there were 33 opioid-related deaths in Simcoe-Muskoka.