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Health unit issues drug overdose alert for Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland and Haliburton counties

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has issued a drug overdose alert for its jurisdiction. The Canadian Press file

An opioid overdose alert has been issued for the jurisdiction of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

The health unit serves the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County and Haliburton County.

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The health unit on Tuesday morning said there has been a “noticeable” increase in overdoses over the past 30 days.

“Hospital data indicated there were three overdoses this past weekend,” stated health promoter Kate Hall. “Recent data is showing an increase in youth drug overdoses. We want to remind parents/guardians of the importance of talking to their children about drugs.”

According to the health unit’s opioid overdose report dashboard, as of Nov. 22, there were eight emergency department visits for suspected drug overdoses this month. In October there were 15 ED visits for suspected opioid poisonings.

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The health unit reminds anyone who uses drugs, or who knows someone who does, to follow these safety tips:

  • Test a small amount of drug before you use.
  • Avoid mixing drugs.
  • Never use alone; if you are alone, call the National Overdose Response Service (NORS) virtual safe consumption at 1-888-668-NORS (6677) or call a friend.
  • Ensure that emergency services can be contacted in the event of an overdose.
  • Keep a naloxone kit on hand. You can get a kit at most pharmacies and needle-exchange sites. To find out how to access naloxone, visit the health unit’s offices, local pharmacies or visit www.ontario.ca/naloxone.

People can use the online submission form to anonymously report overdoses and drug-related information to assist in a quicker response to these incidents.

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