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Increase in suspected opioid-related harm in Algoma region

Anyone using street drugs is being asked by Algoma Public Unit to use extra caution at this time.
algoma public health photo

WAWA-- Algoma Public Health is cautioning anyone who uses street drugs to take extra precautions at this time, as there has been an increase in opioid-related EMS calls and opioid-related emergency department visits in the Algoma region.

Algoma Public Health is also asking the community to continue their support for residents at risk of opioid poisonings and their loved ones.

According to Algoma Public Health, “Opioid surveillance for Algoma consists of weekly monitoring of suspected opioid poisonings, confirmed opioid poisonings and opioid-related EMS calls. An alert occurs when the weekly counts for the opioid-related events surpass a threshold based on the previous 12 weeks of data.”

They caution anyone who uses drugs, and suggest they should carry naloxone (bit.ly/3i33jVw) and make sure they always have someone with them when they use. Their concern about this has led them to post fundamental guidelines and suggestions with important life-saving tips.

Important live saving tips provided by Algoma Public Health include the following:

  • Call 911 immediately if you think someone is experiencing an opioid poisoning.
  • Never use alone – if this is not possible, have someone you trust check on you.
  • Always start with a low dose and increase slowly, especially if trying something new or restarting use. If you previously used substances regularly, but have not used for some time, do not take the same amount as before, because your body will not be used to it and will be at high risk of overdose.
  • Carry a naloxone kit: bit.ly/3i33jVw
  • Never mix substances, including alcohol, as this increases your risk of overdose.
  • To prevent the spread of COVID-19, when responding to an opioid poisoning, wear a mask if possible, wear the gloves provided in the naloxone kit and perform chest compression only CPR

Mental health and addiction support services in Algoma are available by visiting:  bit.ly/3M9pgzN

 

 

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