Drug Overdose Prevention
If you suspect an overdose, CALL 911 immediately.
Dec. 9 - Updates from the Overdose Prevention and Education Network of Niagara (OPENN)
- All eligible agencies that have chosen to be a public access point for Naloxone are listed online
- OPENN updates: An advisory system on toxic drug/adverse reaction sharing went live on Oct. 1. So far, no alerts have needed to be sent out. The Community Prevention Substance Strategy is nearing the phase of report finalization. The community survey closed on Nov. 30, and all community members were asked to fill it out. There were over 3,300 responses with about 76 per cent being female, 22 per cent being male and 0.4 per cent as other.
- National Addictions Awareness Week was Nov. 25 to Dec. 1 and the theme was "Stigma Ends with Me". Community Addictions Services of Niagara hosted a trivia night on Nov. 30 at the Meridian Centre in Fonthill with community support and collaboration from Niagara Region Public Health
- Since June 2019, we've been noting a decrease in Emergency Medical Services calls for suspected opiod overdose. That trend has continued, and our calls are actually at a two-year low at this time. In addition, based on the preliminary data we're monitoring, emergency department visits for suspected overdose have decreased as well. Naloxone distribution has continued to increase and we've been able to analyze data that reveals that the numbers of residents accessing medical therapy (opiod substitution therapy) has increased a small amount over the last two years, and significantly increased during the first six months of 2019.
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.
Streetworks Needle Exchange
Harm reduction materials are available through Positive Living Niagara at their office, satellite sites or mobile van.
Local options for addiction treatment in Niagara include:
For those who have lost loved ones due to substances: