Drug Overdose Prevention

If you suspect an overdose, CALL 911 immediately.

  • Nov. 22 - Updates from the Overdose Prevention and Education Network of Niagara (OPENN)
    • Positive Living Niagara and the community plan to open the St. Catharines Overdose Prevention Site in December. Public Health staff are supporting the community's application for the new Consumption and Treatment Services sites, which will be permanent. Application includes a process involving both federal approval and provincial application and approval. Positive Living Niagara will be sharing information and requesting Board of Health support.
    • 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.
    • National Addiction Awareness Week is Nov. 26 to Dec. 2. The hashtag this year is #allwalksoflife. The Film House will begin showings of the highly acclaimed movie "Beautiful Boy" that week. On Dec. 6, Community Addiction Services of Niagara will be hosting a panel discussion following that evening's showing of the film.

    For more information, see Public Health and Social Services Committee agendas and minutes.

Niagara Statistics

With Canada's recent increase in opioid related morbidity and mortality, Niagara has produced some local statistics. Find out more about opioid overdose and naloxone use in Niagara.

People can overdose on prescription drugs, over the counter drugs and recreational drugs. Symptoms of an overdose may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Problems with vision
  • Seizures

Opioids

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 Kits

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.

For Residents

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.

For Organizations

We can provide training and Naloxone to eligible organizations that work with people who use opioids.

* = Required

Book a Training Session

Treatment

Local options for addiction treatment in Niagara include:

Bereavement Support

For those who have lost loved ones due to substances:

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