May 3, 2021
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has detected a spike in overdoses beginning on April 28, 2021 with the majority occurring in the City of Brockville. This spike has been identified through the Overdose Early Warning System that collects overdose information from our local hospitals and through the online overdose reporting tool. The Health Unit along with community partners are cautioning the community that Leeds, Grenville and Lanark continue to grapple with a dangerously toxic substance supply. Of particular concern during this most recent spike of overdoses is that only 11 out of the 27 reported that they sought medical care at the hospital.
The Health Unit is reminding the community that naloxone may not be as effective in reversing overdoses due to the contamination of substances with other drugs such a benzodiazepines (ex. Xannax). All overdoses are a medical emergency and calling 911 remains the most important step in saving someone’s life. 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.
The risk of an overdose can be reduced by following safer use practices;
- Call 911 in the event of an overdose
- Carry a naloxone kit
- Avoid mixing substances
- Use a small test dose first
- Do not use alone (maintain COVID-19 precautions)
The Health Unit, along with the Opioid Team (provided through Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health) continue to provide in person services to people who use substance at Change Health Care in Brockville, Smiths Falls and Carleton Place. Harm reduction services (single use equipment, naloxone and drug checking test strips etc.) provided by the Smart Works program continue to be available at multiple locations across Leeds, Grenville and Lanark during the pandemic. Please visit the Health Unit’s website for more information. www.healthunit.org
For media interviews, contact: Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-802-0550 or Katie Jackson, Manager, 613-812-0416 or email [email protected].