March 26, 2020
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is aware of an increase in overdoses in Brockville in recent weeks. This recent increase appears to be related to use of illicit Fentanyl that may also contain benzodiazepines and/or its derivatives. Naloxone is only effective on opioids and therefore may not completely reverse an overdose related to this specific substance combination.
The stress, uncertainty and anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to increased substance use amongst vulnerable populations. The Health Unit encourages people who use substances to continue 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
- Importance of calling 911 in the event of an overdose
- Avoid mixing substances
- Use a small test dose first
- Do not use alone
People who use substances are encouraged not to use alone but need to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the community including;
- Frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds
- Limit the number of people with whom you use
- Maintain physical distancing of 2 meters
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces where substances are being prepared
- Avoid sharing and/or reusing of equipment
Harm Reduction services will continue to be offered throughout Leeds, Grenville and Lanark during the COVID–19 response. Please visit the Health Unit website for more information. www.healthunit.org
For media interviews, contact: Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-802-0550.