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.
- Safer Drug Use During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Harm Reduction Provider Operations During the COVID-19 Outbreak
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:
|Hastings Prince Edward Public Health||179 N Park Street Belleville|
499 Dundas Street West, Trenton
1 Manor Lane, Bancroft
35 Bridge Street, Picton
|Belleville Quinte West Community Health Centre||161 Bridge Street W, Belleville|
70 Murphy Street, Trenton
|Marmora Medical Family Health||1 Madoc Street, Marmora||613-472-2552|
|Addiction and Mental Health Services||15 Victoria Avenue, Belleville||613-967-4734|
|Community Wellbeing||50 Meadow Drive, Deseronto||613-967-3603|
|North Hastings Community Trust||23 Bridge Street, Bancroft||613-332-3657|
|Ontario Addictions Treatment Centre – Belleville||257 Front Street, Belleville||613-969-7862|
|Ontario Addictions Treatment Centre – Bancroft||89 Hastings Street N., Bancroft||613-332-0660|
|Change Healthcare||266 Main Street, Picton||613-476-3636|
One of the participating local pharmacies see: ontario.ca/naloxone
Other Naloxone Resources
- Lifesaver Program Training Guide
- 5 Step Response Poster
- How to Protect Yourself When Using Opioids
- 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.
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.