KFL&A Public Health warn of rise in drug-involved poisonings

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health offices. Kingstonist file photo.

KFL&A Public Health is warning residents of a recent rise in drug-involved poisonings and associated symptoms in the last two weeks within the Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) region.

According to Public Health, recent data provided by harm reduction and other health service providers indicate a notable increase in drug-involved poisonings in the past two weeks. Partner agencies also report an increase in clients experiencing prolonged deep sedation, and indicators suggest a recent increase in the presence of carfentanil in the unregulated drug supply.  

“The unregulated drug supply is unpredictable and drug poisonings are increasingly complicated,” KFL&A Public Health said. “It is vital that people do not use drugs alone and 911 is called immediately for emergency medical care when drug poisoning is suspected.”

In addition to informing key partners including the public, expanding access to naloxone kits and other harm reduction measures, and continuing to work on preventing drug harms, KFL&A Public Health is urging people to:

  • Avoid using alone. If you use alone, tell someone before you use and have a safety plan that includes having someone check in with you. Alternatives may include:
    • Using with a friend or family member present or virtually, staggering use if both are using drugs.
    • Using a supervised consumption service in person at 661 Montreal Street, Kingston or virtually by calling the National Overdose Response Service at 1-888-688-NORS (6677)
    • Avoid using more than one drug at a time, including alcohol.
    • Go slow. The quality of unregulated drugs is unpredictable.
    • Get a free naloxone kit and training. Always carry it with you.
    • Seek medical treatment.

“If you have a friend or family member who uses drugs share the above safety information with them and get a free naloxone kit and training,” Public Health expressed.

Kingston’s Consumption Treatment Services (CTS) is a safe, supportive space where people may engage in the supervised consumption of their substances. According to Public Health, this supervision reduces the likelihood of harmful outcomes like fatal overdoses and is an extension of existing harm reduction programs that provide easy-to-access, life-saving harm reduction services in a stigma-free environment, to help reduce the growing number of opioid-related overdose deaths.

The CTS provides:

  • Supervised injection
  • Harm reduction supplies, including disposal of used supplies
  • Naloxone
  • Connection with community support workers

Kingston’s CTS is located within the Integrated Care Hub (661 Montreal Street) and is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The CTS is a drop-in service and does not require an appointment or a referral to access the site — anyone is welcome.

For more information on harm reduction, visit the KFL&A Public Health website

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