Opioid overdose spike has health officials on high alert

News source from CTV News

Published Tuesday, January 8, 2019 6:04PM EST

Last Updated Tuesday, January 8, 2019 7:27PM EST

Every time an ambulance responds to an overdose in Grey County, public health officials are automatically notified.

“Because of that, we are able to monitor the situation and alert all of our community partners right away if there is an increase in overdoses,” says Ian Reich, Grey Bruce Public Health.

The latest drug overdose was on Monday night.  It is the 9th since Christmas Eve in the Owen Sound area.  Some of the most recent cases are attributed to a product being sold as fentanyl.

“A dark blue-purplish product that is out there, and it’s actually being sold as fentanyl, which is quite concerning.  Fentanyl is one of the strongest opioids we have, so the likelihood of overdose from that kind of product is quite high,” explains Reich.

In several cases, naloxone had been administered before paramedics arrived.  Grey County EMS Kevin McNab says the evidence shows the free Naloxone kits are saving lives.

“That’s the key message, don’t use alone, call 9-1-1 and have naloxone on site.”

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