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- Innovative Fentanyl Patch Return Program Launches in Haliburton County With Aim of Reducing Accidental Overdoses -

(HALIBURTON COUNTY) – If one life is saved or one accidental overdose is prevented, then efforts to create a new harm-reduction program in Haliburton County are worth every minute of time.

So says Haliburton Highlands OPP Constable Dianna Dauphinee, who is among a group of local law enforcement officials, pharmacists, health care providers, and representatives of other community agencies who are launching the new Patch 4 Patch program in Haliburton County. Patch 4 Patch is a fentanyl patch return program, modeled after other communities like the City of Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough and North Bay.

“The inappropriate use of prescription drugs like fentanyl is becoming a huge public health and safety issue,” note Const. Dauphinee. “In particular, the misuse of fentanyl is on the rise. It’s happening in surrounding communities, and without an initiative here like Patch 4 Patch, it could become a bigger problem in Haliburton County.”

While fentanyl is a legitimate and powerful painkiller prescribed by doctors, it is increasingly being misused. According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, there were at least 655 deaths in Canada between 2009 and 2014 where fentanyl was determined to be a cause or a contributing cause. Between 2011 and 2013, a fentanyl-implicated death occurred in Ontario about every three to four days. “Many people have died from accidental drug overdoses due to fentanyl misuse,” says Const. Dauphinee. “The reality is that these deaths are preventable.”

The Patch 4 Patch Program is designed to reduce the harm caused by the misuse of fentanyl patches, says Leslie McLaughlin, a Public Health Nurse with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. The Patch 4 Patch program works as a “one in and one out” model, she notes, in which patients are asked to return used fentanyl patches to the pharmacy before they are able to receive more patches.

Patch 4 Patch is geared to reducing the risk of fentanyl patches ending up on the street. In these situations, fentanyl patches are being cut up, then illegally sold or inappropriately used. The fentanyl is being chewed, smoked or injected as a drug by users, resulting in an increased risk of accidental overdoses and deaths. “Patch 4 Patch is a valuable partnership among physicians, pharmacists, patients and police to promote the safe, effective and responsible use of fentanyl patches,” McLaughlin adds.

The Patch 4 Patch Program was officially launched on Monday (September 14) in Haliburton County at an information event held for doctors, pharmacists and other local health care providers. More information about the Patch 4 Patch program is available by contacting the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577.


For media inquiries, contact:

OPP Constable Dianna Dauphinee, Community Services Officer, Haliburton Highlands OPP Detachment, (705) 286-1431, or

Leslie McLaughlin, Public Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569 or 1-866-888-4577, ext.

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«February 2019»