The OPP’s Haliburton Highlands detachment says the public should be aware of a recent increase in drug overdoses in the region. 

Over the past week, police they’ve attended five drug overdoses with one person dying. So far in this year, Constable Michelle Scanlan says officers have investigated four drug-related deaths which are double how many they investigated in 2020.

Last week, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit warned that contaminated opioids have been linked to an increase in the number of hospital emergency department visits.

Scanlan reminds citizens that it is dangerous to use non-prescription drugs from unregulated sources. 

If you or someone you know is planning to use, she recommends taking these steps to reduce the risk of an overdose:

  • Make sure someone is aware of when and where you plan to use drugs.
  • Be aware of the dose that you are consuming.
  • Have a naloxone kit available in case of an overdose.
    • Naloxone is a medication that temporarily reverses an overdose by blocking the effects of an overdose. The effects of the medication are usually quick, however, they are not long-lasting so medical attention should be sought immediately. To find where you can get a naloxone kit, go to the Government of Ontario’s website

Scanlan says to call 911 immediately if you or anyone else you are with is experiencing an overdose. Right after, she says naloxone should be given to the person experiencing an overdose.

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection for individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose. The law protects against charges for possessing drugs and violating conditions of a court order for a simple drug possession charge.

With files from Mo Fahim