Alcohol and Other Drugs | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Alcohol and Other Drugs


Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines

When it comes to alcohol, not all drinks are created equal. There are different types, different different percentages of alcohol, and different serving sizes. It's important to learn what a standard drink actually is, in order to stay within the limits outlined in Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and reduce your risk for acute and chronic alcohol related harms. Serving sizes may be larger than you think; check your pour.

Watch a short video that explains Canada's Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines:


Check Your Drinking.  An anonymous survey, designed to help you, your loved ones or your health care provider answer questions about your drinking.

Saying When App.  A free app for mobile devices that helps you take charge of how much or when you drink.

Rethink Your Drinking


Cannabis (Marijuana)

Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines

Cannabis (marijuana) is the most widely used illicit drug in Ontario and Canada. Under certain circumstances, marijuana can be prescribed for medicinal purposes.


Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Cannabis Talk Kit- Talking with your teen about Cannabis

Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines 


Opioids & Other Drugs

Illicit Fentanyl Present in Our Community

The presence of illicit (non-prescription) fentanyl and other illicit drugs containing fentanyl have been identified within Hastings and Prince Edward Counties and surrounding regions. The local presence of illicit fentanyl has the potential to significantly increase the risk and rate of fatal overdoses within the region, because an amount of illicit fentanyl as small as 1 grain of salt can be fatal, and people may be unaware they are consuming it as it can be disguised as other drugs.

If you use drugs, use safely, never use alone, ensure you have access to a Lifesaver kit (Naloxone) and know the signs of an overdose.

If you are a parent, talk to your kids about the risk of drug use and potential overdose.


Fact Sheet for Parents

Fact Sheet for Youth


Lifesaver Kit (Naloxone/Narcan)

Anyone who uses illicit drugs or is a current or previous long term user of opioids should have a Lifesaver kit. Lifesaver kits contain Naloxone (injectable) or Narcan (nasal spray). These medications can temporarily stop an overdose caused by opioid-like drugs, including heroin, morphine, fentanyl, methadone, and codeine.

Individuals who receive the Lifesaver kit will receive training to both recognize the signs and symptoms of an overdose, as well as learn how to administer this life saving medication. Once Narcan/Naloxone is administered, it is also imperative to call 9-1-1 as this medication only temporarily reverses the effect of overdose, enabling emergency support to arrive.

No one who is experiencing an overdose or helping at the scene can be charged with simple possession. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Actprovides an exemption from charges of simple possession of a controlled substance as well as from charges concerning a pre-trial release, probation order, conditional sentence or parole violations related to simple possession for people who call 911 for themselves or another person suffering an overdose, as well as anyone who is at the scene when emergency help arrives.

Naloxone nasal spray kits and injectable kits are available, at no cost, at all HPEPH health unit offices for people who use or have previously used drugs and their friends and family. Naloxone kits are also available at pharmacies at no cost.  Find a free naloxone kit at a location near you. 


Lifesaver Program Training Guide- for individuals

5 Step Response Poster

Opioid Overdose: Prevent Recognize and Treat Fact Sheet

Staying Safer when using Opiates- Pamphlet

Drug Categories: Know Your Drugs, Know the Effects Poster


Reducing Harms: Recognizing and Responding to Opioid Overdoses in Your Organization


Needle Exchange Sites

Needle Exchange sites are places where individuals can obtain new needles, sterile water, alcohol swabs, cookers, filters, ascorbic acid, and tourniquets, as well as sharps containers for safe disposal of used needles and cookers. These sharps containers can then be returned to any participating exchange site for safe disposal. Find a needle exchange site near you.


Prescription Medication

Prescription medications should always be taken according to the directions provided by your health care provider, for the reasons the medications were intended and only by the individual the prescription is intended for.

All medications should be kept in a safe, secure location out of the reach of children, and any unused or out-dated medications should be returned to your pharmacy for proper disposal.


Other Drugs

There are a variety of common and illegal drugs that are used in Canada. For more information about the types, uses, effects, and mental and physical health risks associated with these drugs, click here.


Talking with your kids about alcohol and other drugs

Parents are a key influence in the lives of their teenagers, including their choices about alcohol and cannabis use.

Resources for Parents

You, Your Teen and Substance Use

Cannabis Talk Kit- Talking with your teen about Cannabis

Parent Action on Drugs - Parent Action Pack.

 Where to Get Help - Treatment and Crisis Lines

For information about substance misuse and addiction, please refer to the resources below.

Additional Resources

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health