Peterborough drug alert extended after 5 more overdoses: health unit

Click to play video: 'Peterborough Public Health reports weekend spike in drug poisonings'
Peterborough Public Health reports weekend spike in drug poisonings
RELATED: Peterborough health officials continue to urge caution on the heels of a spike in drug poisonings. Over the weekend, 14 people required EMS or were transported to the emergency department due to overdoses. Robert Lothian has the details – Feb 13, 2024

A drug poisoning alert issued Monday for the Peterborough, Ont., region has been extended following additional overdoses reported on Tuesday.

Peterborough Public Health 0n Wednesday morning said five overdoses were reported that resulted in EMS calls and emergency department visits on Tuesday.

The health unit says the suspected drug is white/beige and is being sold as “down.”

Testing confirms the presence of fentanyl and benzodiazepines (benzos), which is a sedative.

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It’s a different drug than what triggered the initial drug alert on Monday following 14 drug overdoses on the weekend that all required medical assistance. No deaths were reported.

The health unit says an orange and green substance with sedative effects was linked to the weekend incidents. The health unit notes that naloxone — which helps reverse the effects of an opioid overdose — is ineffective against sedatives.

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Officials are trying to determine if the substance is connected to the overdose surge that occurred in Belleville, Ont., last week.

The health unit serves Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation.

There were six suspected fatal drug overdoses in January 2024 , according to the health unit’s opioids harm data portal.

There were 78 suspected fatal drug poisonings in 2023, 19 more than in 2022.

more to come…

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