Opioid Overdose Alert
There have been reports of two fatal drug poisonings today, Friday December 11th, 2020. These occurred in near Owen Sound and in Hanover. The substance involved appears to be fentanyl or carfentanil. In one event, the drug was in the form of a whitish/pink substance. There has been a consistent trend of highly toxic street drugs leading to fatal overdoses over the past 2 weeks. All street drugs should be deemed highly toxic.
People that use drugs are at significant risk of overdose due to the local street drug supply containing the highly toxic drug Fentanyl and/or Carfentanil. People must assume that any and all drugs purchased on the street contain Fentanyl or Carfentanil (100 X stronger than fentanyl) and considered extremely toxic. We urge people that use drugs to do so as safe as possible by following some Harm Reduction strategies:
- Avoiding using alone.
- When using with someone else, avoid using at the same time.
- Call the OVERDOSE PREVENTION LINE at 1-888-853-8542 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.
The Overdose prevention line is a vital phone service for people that are using drugs alone. It is a service that allows users to call so that they can be safe while using alone. An operator will stay on the line with the user while the drug is used. In the event that the user becomes unresponsive, the Prevention Line operator will call 911 to make sure that help arrives.
If you know of a toxic drug, please report it by calling 211. The operator will fill out a form and it will then go to Public Health to action and alert the community.
Naloxone and safe drug use equipment is available at the Health Unit M-F 830am-4pm, 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
- 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: 1-888-853-8542
“The supply on the streets is toxic, it is killing people at a rate that really does concern me”, says Public Health Manager Ian Reich. “Friends, family, police, public and service providers of people that use drugs, please be aware, please be on alert, and have Naloxone on hand, and have plenty of it with you, and please call 911 in the event of any suspected overdose.”.
For More Information:
Ian Reich, RN, BScN, EMBA
Public Health Manager
Population Health, Sexual Health, Harm Reduction
Grey Bruce Health Unit
101 17th Street East, Owen Sound, N4K 0A5
519-376-9420 ext. 1414