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Opioid overdose alert issued for Haliburton County

Data from the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) shows there has been a “noticeable increase” in opioid overdoses over the last 30 days.

The alert was issued for the City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County, and Northumberland County.

“Hospital data indicated there were three overdoses this past weekend,” adds Kate Hall, Healthy Communities and Health Promoter for HKPR. “Recent data is showing an increase in youth drug overdoses. We want to remind parents/guardians of the importance of talking to their children about drugs.”

The health unit recently set up an opioid overdose dashboard on its website.

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With the alert issued, health unit officials say it triggers “enhanced outreach” efforts, including the distribution of naloxone kits. Officials explain the kits help temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose giving them time to get the victim to a hospital. 

Officials point out that the kits can be picked up at the health unit’s office, pharmacies, and other locations for free.

For anyone using drugs, officials say to test a small amount before using, avoid mixing drugs, never use alone, call 911 in the event of an overdose, and keep a naloxone kit nearby.

They explain that signs of an overdose include very large or very small pupils, slow or no breathing, cold and clammy skin, blue or purple fingernails or lips, and snoring or gurgling sounds. Officials add it’s often difficult to wake someone up who is experiencing an overdose.

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