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Public Health reports increase in drug overdoses in KFL&A

Naloxone kit image provided by KFL&A Public Health.

A toxic batch of drugs is circulating in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) area, and the local health unit wants residents to be aware.

According to KFL&A Public Health, increased numbers of overdoses have been noted in emergency departments, as well as through 911 calls and local harm reduction programs. Initial reports indicate that the substances being used in these overdoses include crystal methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine, which have been observed in a variety of colours.

As such, KFL&A Public Health is urging all those who use drugs not to mix them, to do test amounts, and to never use alone. Public Health is also reminding residents that the Public Consumption and Treatment Service at Kingston’s Street Health Centre is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., providing a safe place for anyone who wants to use drugs to do so under the supervision of people who are trained in how to respond to an overdose. Additionally, the Rapid Access Addictions Medicine Clinic at the Street Health Centre is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment. That clinic can provide individuals with support in getting help for a substance use disorder.

KFL&A Public Health is encouraging all residents to be aware of the signs of an opioid overdose and pick up a free naloxone kit. Free kits are available at the following locations:

  • KFL&A Public Health (Kingston office): Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Street Health Centre: Monday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
  • HIV/AIDS Regional Services: Contactless drop off available Monday to Friday (call 613-329-6932). Mobile outreach unit is located at Street Health Centre from 4 to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society of Kingston: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Martha’s Table: Monday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Home Base Housing Street Outreach Team: Monday to Friday at Lunch By George from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Street Health Centre from 12 to 1 p.m.
  • Change Health Care: Monday to Friday 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday to Sunday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Napanee and Area Community Health Centre: Monday to Friday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

For more locations, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/where-get-free-naloxone-kit.

It is also important for residents to remember that an overdose is a medical emergency. Anyone who suspects or witnesses an overdose should call 911, and the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection against simple drug possession charges for anyone who experiences, witnesses or responds to an overdose and calls authorities.

Kingstonist has requested further details on this situation from KFL&A Public Health and will update this article as more information becomes available.

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