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Drug Poisoning Opioid Overdose Alert Issued for Northumberland County

HKPR District Health Unit is seeing an increase in drug poisonings within the community.

HKPR District Health Unit is seeing an increase in drug poisonings within the community. 

PORT HOPE, ON (October 24, 2023) An opioid overdose alert is being issued for Northumberland County after an increase in suspected opioid drug poisonings was reported.   

“The increased opioid overdose reports this week are troubling. We are issuing an alert to ensure the community takes immediate precautions,” said Dorothea Service, Harm Reduction Program Manager with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit). “The drug supply in Ontario is contaminated with highly potent opioids, benzodiazepines, xylazine, and other substances that may impact the current drug poisoning crisis in our area.” 

 Important information: 

  • Street drugs may be mixed with other substances.  
  • Mixing drugs/substances can increase the risk of overdose. This includes mixing street drugs with alcohol. 
  • We recommend using naloxone in all suspected drug overdoses due to the possibility of opioid contamination or poisoning.  
  • Keep multiple naloxone kits on hand. Where to get a free naloxone kit |  
  • Test a small amount of the drug before you use it. 
  • Call the National Overdose Response Service (NORS), virtual safe consumption, at 1-888-668-NORS (6677) or use a buddy system and call a friend. 
  • Call 911 in the event of an overdose.  

The HKPR District Health Unit’s Drug Poisoning Opioid Overdose Alert automatically flags increases in overdoses for community partners and first responders, which triggers enhanced outreach efforts and distribution of naloxone kits. Naloxone is an emergency medicine that temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose until the person can get to a hospital for treatment.  

Naloxone kits are available for people who use opioids, as well as their family and friends. These can be picked up at Health Unit offices, local pharmacies, and other locations 

Anyone who sees a person overdosing is also urged to intervene. Call 9-1-1 and give the person naloxone. The Good Samaritan Act protects anyone trying to help in an emergency from possible legal repercussions. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act also helps protect people on the scene of an overdose from being charged for possessing or using drugs for their own use. 

Signs of an overdose include very small pupils, slow or no breathing, cold and clammy skin, blue or purple fingernails or lips, and snoring or gurgling sounds. Often in drug overdoses, it is also difficult to wake up the person. 

Local Opioid Overdose Reports 

For weekly reports on opioid overdose incidents within the HKPR District Health Unit area, visit the HKPR District Health Unit’s Opioid Overdose Report. 
Reporting a Drug Poisoning or Drug Related Information 
To anonymously report drug poisonings and drug-related information to assist in a more effective response please use the online submission form. 


Media Contacts
Ashley Beaulac, Manager of Communication Services, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577 ext. 1212, or Dorothea Service, Harm Reduction Manager, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577 ext. 2227

About the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit provides important public health programs and services to residents in Northumberland County, Haliburton County, and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Our dedicated team of public health professionals, led by our Medical Officer of Health, promote healthy living, protect against disease, and prevent illness and injury. We work with health care providers and community partners to address emerging health issues, service gaps and social inequities to support residents in being well and reaching their full potential. Our values of trust, engagement, accountability, and leadership guide what we do every day. Learn more at

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