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Recent Surge in Suspected Overdoses in Halton

Halton Regional Police Service officers have attended twelve (12) overdoses in Halton region in the last eleven (11) days. Two of those overdoses were fatal and involved unknown substances. A variety of substances are believed to have played a role in the other ten (10) overdoses, including cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, Xanax, Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA / Ecstasy / ‘Molly’), Ketamine (‘Special K’, ‘Vitamin K’) and oxycodone. “This many suspected opioid overdoses ocurring in our community in such a short period of time is a high-water mark for us and a significant cause for concern,” says Detective Sergeant Paul Foley of the Drugs and Human Trafficking Unit. Since January 1, 2020, there have been 97 suspected overdoses in the region, 14 of which were fatal. Detective Sergeant Paul Foley underscores the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect you are witnessing or experiencing an overdose. “Our officers and other first responders in Halton carry naloxone and we want to assist. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides broad legal protections for anyone seeking emergency support during an overdose. We’re there to prevent a fatal overdose, not pursue simple possession charges.” If you use drugs, or have a friend or family member who uses drugs, these tips may help save a life in the event of an overdose: Know the signs. An overdose is a medical emergency. Know the signs of an overdose and call 9-1-1 right away: • difficulty walking, talking, or staying awake • blue lips or nails • very small pupils • cold and clammy skin • dizziness and confusion • extreme drowsiness • choking, gurgling or snoring sounds • slow, weak or no breathing • inability to wake up, even when shaken or shouted at Don't run. Call 9-1-1. Carry naloxone, a drug that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. Naloxone is available free-of-charge in Halton at: • Halton Region Harm Reduction Services (Exchange Works) • Halton Region Sexual Health clinics • Most pharmacies in Halton Never use alone. Don't use drugs alone, and don't let those around you use alone either. If you overdose when you are alone, there will be no one there to help you. If you are using with someone else, don't use at the same time. Go slow. The quality of street drugs is unpredictable. Any drug can be cut with, or contaminated by, other agents or drugs (e.g. fentanyl), which in very small amounts can be harmful or fatal. Know your tolerance and always use a small amount of a drug first to check the strength. *************************************** Resources For Those With Addictions We encourage all parents to have open and frank conversations with their children about the very significant risks and dangers associated with the use of any illicit drug, and in particular opioids. There are many online resources available, including the website drugfreekidscanada.org. There are agencies and supports in place within our community to assist individuals suffering from addictions, and their families, including: ADAPT – Halton Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Assessment Prevention & Treatment Services ADAPT is a non-profit, community-based, outpatient addiction, assessment and treatment agency funded by the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and the United Way to provide a range of services throughout the Halton Region. ADAPT is dedicated to empowering persons with alcohol, drug and/or gambling concerns, and their families, to manage these concerns and to lead fulfilling lives through the provision of comprehensive assessment and treatment services, corresponding to need. ADAPT’s services and programs are available for adults and youth and include:

  • Assessment, Treatment and Referral Services (Adult)

  • Days Ahead Program – Assessment, Treatment and Referral Services (Youth)

  • Community Justice Programs

  • Know the D.E.A.L. Program (Youth)

For more information about ADAPT services or to book an appointment, call the Intake Desk at 905-639-6537 ext. 0. If this is long distance, call 905-693-4250 ext. 0. Collect calls are also accepted. Hours of operation are from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) – Halton Region Branch CMHA provides support for mental health and addictions through education programs, free walk-in counselling programs, crisis intervention through the Crisis Outreach and Support team (COAST program), support and peer-support programs. For more information on CMHA services call 905-693-4270 or toll-free 1-877-693-4270. If someone is experiencing a mental health crisis: • Call COAST at 1-877-825-9011 (TTY: 1-844-646-1700) • Go to the nearest hospital, or • Call 9-1-1 Connex Ontario Provides free and confidential health service information for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental illness and/or gambling. Information and referral services are live-answer 24/7, confidential, and free: 1-866-531-2600 Halton RAAM (Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine) Clinic The Halton RAAM Clinic provides evidence-based addiction medicine treatments for a variety of substance-use disorders, including alcohol, opioids, tobacco, and benzodiazepine tapering. The clinic accepts referrals from any source, including self-referral, and patients can also arrive on a walk-in basis. Call 1-888-388-7226 for an appointment. Halton Region Exchange Works Program Exchange Works is a program of Halton Region's Harm Reduction Services. As part of this program, outreach workers and public health nurses operate a mobile outreach service in Halton Region that involves:

  • Exchanging used injection/smoking supplies for new injection/smoking supplies

  • Providing health information to clients

  • Distributing safer sex supplies

  • Referring clients to community agencies that have the tools to help access rehabs

  • Services offered:

  • Safer injection supplies

  • Safer steroid supplies

  • Safer inhalation supplies

  • Safer sex supplies

  • Nasal naloxone training and kits

  • Education

  • Written information and referrals

  • STI and HIV testing, along with Hep A + B vaccines

  • Presentations (by request)

You can access Exchange Works by: • Texting or calling mobile outreach services (on a confidential cell phone) Mobile Outreach Services 905-330-3305 (North Halton: 905-702-4200) Monday-Thursday 4:30-8:30 p.m. • Visiting one of the Halton Region clinics. Needle exchange services available at Burlington and Oakville clinics Monday-Friday 1-4 p.m.




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