Earlier this month, Ottawa police and public health officials issued a public warning about fake prescription pills potentially laced with the deadly opioid fentanyl. We have read about too many youth dying from overdoses in Ottawa and across Canada recently. Increased awareness and open dialogues must take place now more than ever because the reality is that this problem is in our community.
I feel that now more than ever, we must be having these difficult but important discussions around drug use with our children and grandchildren so that they are made aware of the new dangers in drugs circulating through our community.
We have been hearing more and more about naloxone in the news. Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioids include drugs like heroin, morphine, fentanyl, methadone and codeine. Naloxone blocks the effect of opioids on the brain. It temporarily reverses effects on a person’s breathing. It has been compared to an EpiPen for overdoses.
If someone close to you is at risk of an opioid overdose, you can obtain a free naloxone kit at over 80 pharmacies in Ottawa. Call (800) 565-8603 to find one.
Currently all paramedics in Ottawa are equipped with naloxone kits and I am working to ensure that all First Responders who require kits will have access to them to save lives as well as for their own protection.
Ontario has also launched a comprehensive opioid strategy to address the dramatic increase in rates of addiction and overdose deaths due to prescription narcotics and opioids.
In Ottawa, there are a number of addiction service providers. Please contact these local resources if you know someone in need of them:
Ottawa Addictions Access and Referral Service (OAARS) - 613-241-5202
Ontario Drug and Alcohol Helpline - 1-800-565-8603
Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region - 613-238-3311
Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa - 613-241-7788 ext 300 or ext 400
Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre - 613-594-8333
Royal Ottawa Hospital’s Regional Opioid Intervention Service -
613-722-6521 ext. 6224
Ottawa Public Health - http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/public-health/healthy-living/alcohol-drugs-and-tobacco/drugs