Public Health issues fourth Opioid Alert this month

The Grey Bruce Health Unit has issued its fourth Opioid Alert to system partners this month, after receiving reports of five drug overdoses in the area within a five-day period.

Four of the five individuals were unresponsive when first responders arrived. Three of the individuals required life-sustaining measures. None of the overdoses were fatal and none of the individuals had to be hospitalized.

Naloxone was administered in four of the five incidents.

Public Health also issued an Opioid Alert on Aug. 12 after four overdoses (non-fatal) were reported within a 24-hour period and on Aug. 4 after six overdoses (non-fatal) were reported within a four-day period.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit wishes to advise the public that all street drugs should be deemed highly toxic and FATAL.

We urge people who use drugs to do so as safely as possible by following basic Harm Reduction strategies, such as:

·         Avoiding using alone.
·         When using with someone else, avoid using at the same time;
·         Call the OVERDOSE PREVENTION LINE at 1-888-688-6677 (NORS) if you must use alone;
·         Avoiding mixing different drugs. Mixing drugs, including alcohol, increases the risk of overdose;
·         Going slow. Use smaller amounts and do test doses to check the strength of the drug;
·         Knowing your tolerance. If using after a period of not using – use less;
·         Getting overdose prevention training and carrying a Naloxone kit.

Overdose is a medical emergency. Call 911 or go to the Emergency Department. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides protection from simple possession charges when 911 is called for an overdose.

Naloxone and safe drug-use equipment are available at the Grey Bruce Health Unit Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and through our participating sites. Call the Health Unit for details, or call 211.

For additional Addiction Services:

·         ConnexOntario 1-866-531-2600
·         Withdrawal Management/RAAM Clinic (Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic) 519-376-5666
·         G&B House 519-376-9495
·         Ontario Addiction Treatment Centre 519-371-0007
·         CMHA Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addiction Services 519-371-3642
·         Mental Health Crisis Line Grey Bruce 1-877-470-5200
·         Overdose prevention line (NORS) 1-888-688-6677
If unsure – call 211