The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, through the overdose early warning and surveillance system, has detected a spike in overdoses across LGL over the past week. The Health Unit, along with community partners, warn that the supply of substances in the area continues to be toxic and that many substances (such as cocaine and crystal meth) continue to be contaminated with opioids including fentanyl. The Health Unit encourages people who use substances to take extreme caution and to engage with harm reduction services for single-use equipment, naloxone and further access to services and referrals.
In an effort to reduce the number of overdoses in our community, the Health Unit encourages the following safer use practices:
- Carry a naloxone kit
- Call 9-1-1 in the event of an overdose
- Avoid mixing substances
- Use a small test dose first
- Do not use alone
Residents are reminded that an overdose is a medical emergency. Anyone who suspects or witnesses an overdose should call 9-1-1. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection against simple drug possession charges for anyone who experiences, witnesses or responds to an overdose and calls 9-1-1.
Harm reduction supplies, including naloxone kits, will continue to be offered throughout Leeds, Grenville and Lanark during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the Health Unit website for more information. https://healthunit.org/healthinformation/drug-use-harm-reduction.