The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit and AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area are launching a series of overdose prevention campaigns.
The campaign's being run in response to recent overdoses in Nipissing and Parry Sound.
Earlier this month officials announced an increase in overdose-related deaths in the area since the start of COVID-19.
"In the last few months, we have definitely seen a lot more overdoses. For instance, when I look at the week of August 3rd to 9th, there were 16 overdoses, one death reported, and 911 was called eight times,” Mary Davis, CEO of Nipissing Mental Health Housing and Support Services told BayToday's Linda Holmes earlier this month.
Based on a year to year comparison, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is reporting double the number of opioid-related deaths in its region.
“Between January and May of this year, we’ve had 16 confirmed and one probable death. In comparison to last year during the same period, we had only eight opioid-related deaths. So, we’re seeing basically a two-fold increase,” stated community health promoter Katharine O’Connell.
See related: Call 9-1-1 if you see someone overdosing
The first overdose prevention campaign focuses on three key messages which include recognizing the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, be aware of the overdose prevention line along with the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act.
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection for individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose. The Act became law on May 4, 2017. It complements the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, our comprehensive public health approach to substance use.
Cards and stickers with more information are being distributed around the area, along with needle syringe program sites and Naloxone distribution sites.
With files from CKAT