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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
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Safer Drug Use & Naloxone

If you use drugs, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of overdose or infection. On this page, you can learn more about naloxone, needle exchange sites, and safe disposal of sharps.

COVID-19 and Substance Use

As of March 23, 2020, there has been a spike in overdose related calls in the Belleville area, and 2 overdose deaths in the past week. Please see below for information on what service providers and people who use drugs can do maintain safer substance use while also implementing COVID-19 social distancing and hygiene practices.

Please also be aware of The Overdose Prevention Line, which is available Monday to Friday from 10 am -10 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – midnight. Please call 1-888-853-8542 if you are about to use drugs and are located in Ontario.

Naloxone (Lifesaver Kit)

Why it is Important

Anyone who uses any type of illicit drugs or is a current or previous long term user of opioids should have a Naloxone kit. This medication can temporarily stop an overdose caused by opioid drugs,. Opioid drugs include heroin, morphine, fentanyl, methadone, and codeine. Opioids may also be in other illicit drugs, without the users’ knowledge.

Individuals who receive the Naloxone 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 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.

Signs of an Overdose

  • Person will not wake up easily, or at all
  • Breathing is slow, erratic or has stopped
  • Fingernails or lips turn blue or purple
  • Body is limp
  • Deep snoring or gurgling sounds
  • Pinpoint/very small pupils
  • May be vomiting
  • Skin feels cold and clammy

How You are Protected

No one who is experiencing an overdose or helping at the scene can be charged with simple possession. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act protects you from charges of simple possession of a controlled substance, charges concerning a pre-trial release, probation order, conditional sentence or parole violations related to simple possession. If you call 911 for yourself or another person suffering an overdose, or even if you are on the scene when emergency help arrives, you are protected under this Act.

Nalxone nasal spray kits are available, at no cost, at all HPE Public Health offices for people who use, and/or previously used drugs, and their friends and family. Naloxone nasal spray kits or naloxone injectable kits are also available at several pharmacies and community centers (see below).

To find a free naloxone kit please contact:

LocationAddressPhone Number
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health179 N Park Street Belleville
499 Dundas Street West, Trenton
1 Manor Lane, Bancroft
35 Bridge Street, Picton
Belleville Quinte West Community Health Centre161 Bridge Street W, Belleville
70 Murphy Street, Trenton
Marmora Medical Family Health1 Madoc Street, Marmora613-472-2552
Addiction and Mental Health Services15 Victoria Avenue, Belleville613-967-4734
Community Wellbeing50 Meadow Drive, Deseronto613-967-3603
North Hastings Community Trust23 Bridge Street, Bancroft613-332-3657
Ontario Addictions Treatment Centre – Belleville257 Front Street, Belleville613-969-7862
Ontario Addictions Treatment Centre – Bancroft89 Hastings Street N., Bancroft613-332-0660
Change Healthcare 266 Main Street, Picton613-476-3636

One of the participating local pharmacies see:

 Other Naloxone Resources

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.

This program has been established to help reduce harm related to injection drug use, and ensure proper and safe disposal of needles in our community.

Safe Disposal of Medications and Sharps

Medications and sharps can be safely returned to various pharmacies throughout Hastings and Prince Edward Counties through the free Ontario Medications Return Program (OMRP) and the Ontario Sharps Collection Program (OSCP). As part of the OSCP, individuals are able to pick up sharps containers for use, and return these containers with used needles, needle tips and syringes, insulin pens, lancets and other used medical sharps.  Individuals can also safely dispose of all unused or expired prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, including natural health products, under the OMRP. Find a “return” location near you that accepts needles used for medical conditions.

Related Links:

Need More Information About Safer Drug Use & Naloxone?

For more information, call us at 613-966-5500 ext. 475.

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1) Our offices are temporarily closed to the public to allow us to respond to COVID-19 demands. Phone lines remain open. Please access our media release for more information.

2) Returning travellers must self-isolate for 14 days and contact Public Health if symptoms of COVID-19 develop.

If you have returned from travel anywhere outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days and immediately contact Public Health or your local health care provider if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. Earlier this month all travellers were asked to self-isolated when they returned to Canada. Effective March 25, the federal government made this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable citizens. Each of us must make the responsible decision to follow the advice of health authorities. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.