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HomeHealth and LifestyleHealth Unit Issues Toxic Drug Supply Alert

Health Unit Issues Toxic Drug Supply Alert

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) is issuing an alert after a notable increase in suspected opioid drug poisonings in Northumberland County and a trending increase of drug poisonings in the City of Kawartha Lakes and County of Haliburton.

Officials say the HKPR District Health Unit’s Drug Poisoning Opioid Overdose Alert early warning and surveillance system automatically flags increases in drug poisoning overdoses which triggers enhanced outreach efforts and distribution of naloxone kits and harm reduction supplies from first responders and community partners. Naloxone is an emergency medicine that temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose until the person can get to a hospital for treatment.

It is important to be aware that the unregulated drug supply may be contaminated with other substances. Naloxone should be used in all suspected drug overdoses due to the possibility of opioid contamination or poisoning. Free Naloxone Kits are available at Health Unit offices, local pharmacies, and other locations.

Signs of an opioid overdose include very small pupils, slow or no breathing, cold and clammy skin, blue or purple fingernails or lips, and snoring or gurgling sounds. People may experience heavy sedation and it may be difficult to wake them up.

Anyone who sees a person overdosing is urged to intervene. Call 9-1-1, give the person naloxone, and start rescue breathing and, or chest compressions. The Good Samaritan Act protects anyone trying to help in an emergency from possible legal repercussions. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act also helps protect people on the scene of an overdose from being charged for using or possessing drugs for personal use.

The HKPR District Health Unit recommends the following practices:

Reporting a Drug Poisoning or Drug Related Information
To anonymously report drug poisonings and drug-related information to assist in a more effective response please use the online submission form.

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