Drug Overdose Prevention
If you suspect an overdose, CALL 911 immediately.
Sept. 24 - Updates from the Overdose Prevention and Education Network of Niagara (OPENN)
- Positive Living Niagara and the Overdose Prevention and Education Network of Niagara continue to wait to hear the results of the Overdose Prevention Site review by the province. Many smart partnerships are planned that will ensure that this site maximizes the chance for residents in the largest hotspot in Niagara to get the treatment and help they need.
- Naloxone has been distributed to 19 key agencies who are actively distributing within the critical social and close peer network, as well as appropriate patient provisions through St. John Ambulances, Niagara Health, and EMS. Nine other agencies are in the process of receiving naloxone. See all agencies that have chosen to be a public access point.
- In coordination with CASON, community presentations have been booked with libraries across Niagara focusing on opioids, naloxone, and promoting health and social services available.
- Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services staff joined the many groups and community members for Recovery Day on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m., Welland Amphitheatre (Merritt Park, 151 King St., Welland, ON)
- Some data elements have not been updated due to the writ period and change in government, but we continue to get preliminary and unofficial data as before. The harm reduction group of OPENN is continuing to refine the process for an alerting approach.
For more information, see Public Health and Social Services Committee agendas and minutes.
People can overdose on prescription drugs, over the counter drugs and recreational drugs. Symptoms of an overdose may include:
- Problems with vision
Opioids are usually prescription pain killers with names like codeine, morphine, OxyContin and Percocet. Another street version of an opioid is heroin.
Fentanyl is a manmade opiate narcotic used mostly for cancer patients in severe pain. Fentanyl is roughly 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
In Canada, many deaths have been caused by other street drugs being cut with fentanyl. Fentanyl is very dangerous because you can't see it, smell it or taste it. If your drug of choice has been cut with Fentanyl, it can quickly kill you.
An opioid overdose may look and feel like:
- Severe sleepiness
- Slow heartbeat
- Trouble breathing
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Cold, clammy, bluish skin
- Trouble walking or talking
- Non-responsiveness to shouting or shaking
Naloxone is an emergency medication that reverses the effects of an overdose from opioids such as fentanyl, heroin, methadone and morphine. Naloxone is not an antidote to an overdose, but it can keep a person alive until emergency services arrive.
Naloxone kits are free in Ontario. If you are a person who uses opioids, or are a family member or loved one of someone at risk for an overdose, you can get a kit at a pick-up location.
We can provide training and Naloxone to eligible organizations that work with people who use opioids.
Local options for addiction treatment in Niagara include:
For those who have lost loved ones due to substances: