Public Health warns of toxic batch of drugs still circulating in KFL&A

Naloxone kits, which are used to help interrupt opioid overdoses, are available free of charge in many places in Kingston. Photo by Dr. James Heilman.

Earlier this month, KFL&A Public Health issued a warning to residents about a toxic batch of drugs circulating in Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington and Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. Today, Friday Dec. 11, 2020, Public Health has issued another media release to inform residents in KFL&A that the extremely toxic batch of drugs continues to circulate in the area.

According to the release, local harm reduction programs are reporting unusually high rates of overdoses in the last ten days. Public Health says partners indicate that very small amounts of a drug, regardless of how the drug is consumed, are enough to cause overdose, and people are experiencing extremely heavy sedation that can last for hours. In some cases, people are experiencing severe memory loss, according to the release. Partners have observed pinkish or yellowish coloured drugs and suspect drugs are contaminated with fentanyl.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the drug supply has become more contaminated and unpredictable, increasing the risk of overdose, according to the release. KFL&A Public Health is urging all people who use drugs to not mix drugs, do test amounts, to never use alone, and to have a naloxone kit.

According to KFL&A Public Health, using drugs alone is a major risk factor for experiencing a fatal overdose and is not recommended even with the risk of COVID-19. Instead practice physical distancing when using drugs around other people, make sure someone is there who knows how to use naloxone and call 9-1-1, connect virtually with someone that can call for help, or call the Overdose Prevention Line, an anonymous, non-judgemental support line available 24/7 in Ontario to have someone on the line while you use drugs, they suggest.

The Consumption and Treatment Service at the Integrated Care Hub at 661 Montreal Street in Kingston is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and provides a safe and supportive place where anyone who wants to consume drugs can do so under supervision of people who are trained to respond to an overdose.  The Rapid Access Addictions Medicine Clinic at Street Health Centre is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. by appointment to provide individuals with support in getting help for a substance use disorder. For more information about support options, visit KFL&A Public Health’s Getting Help page.

Public Health encourages 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: Monday to Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Integrated Care Hub: Open seven days per week, 23 hours per day (closed daily from 10 to 11 a.m.)
  • Napanee and Area Community Health Centre: Monday to Friday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.
  • 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 Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 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.

For more locations, visit

Residents are reminded that an overdose is a medical emergency. Anyone who suspects or witnesses an overdose should call 9-1-1. 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 9-1-1. 

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