August 30, 2013 – International Overdose Awareness Day is Saturday, August 31

Overdose Prevention Program Pilot Begins in Peterborough

This Saturday, August 31, is a day known around the globe as International Overdose Awareness Day established to commemorate loved ones lost due to overdoses on alcohol and other drugs.

Wearing silver on August 31 honours the thousands of lives lost to preventable overdoses, while also acknowledging and supporting the mourning process of those friends and family members left behind.

“Anyone can fall victim to an overdose; young or old, first-time or long-time users, those using as prescribed or those experimenting,” said Deanna VandenBroek, Health Promoter with the Substance Misuse Prevention Program at Peterborough Public Health. “Accidental overdose is the third leading cause of unintentional death in Ontario – a figure comparable to traffic fatalities.”

Each year in Peterborough City, County and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, an average of 17 people lose their life due to overdoses on alcohol and other drugs. The most recent data (2011) shows that a quarter of overdose deaths in Peterborough City and County were due specifically to opioids (pain relievers), such as heroin, fentanyl and OxyContin.

A group of partner organizations involved with the Peterborough Drug Strategy have been working together to develop and implement an overdose prevention program in Peterborough over the last two years.  A pilot program began in July 2013 which involves providing information and training sessions on how to avoid an overdose and also how to respond to an overdose emergency. More specifically, the training covers recognizing an overdose, calling 911, basic CPR, the rescue position and how to administer Naloxone.  Naloxone is an antidote drug that temporarily reverses the effects of an overdose, mainly respiratory depression, putting a person into withdrawal until an ambulance can arrive.  For the first time in our community (as of August 20, 2013), Naloxone is being provided to those at risk of overdosing on opioids. Such efforts to provide overdose prevention training and Naloxone have been shown to save lives.

More information on overdose awareness and prevention can be found at www.overdoseday.com or www.peterboroughdrugstrategy.ca.



For further information, please contact:

Deanna VandenBroek,
Health Promoter, Substance Misuse Prevention Program
Ph: 705-743-1000 Ext: 223

August 28, 2013 – Public Health Advises Women to Check Pills to Ensure Effectiveness

Health Canada is alerting Canadians that Freya-28, an oral contraceptive (birth control product), is being voluntarily recalled from the Canadian market by Mylan Pharmaceuticals after a pharmacy reported that a placebo pill was found in place of an active pill in one package. Packages of Freya-28 should have three rows of active (white) pills and one row of placebo (green) pills.

Missing one or more active (white) pills could result in reduced effectiveness for contraception, with the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy. As of August 27, 2013, there had been no adverse reactions reported to Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

The affected products are Freya-28 (Lots: 3739F001B & 3739F002B).

The Peterborough Public Health is advising local women who use birth control pills to verify if they are affected by this recall.  It is also recommending that women:

  • Consult their healthcare provider with any questions or concerns regarding the use of oral contraceptives, especially Freya-28.
  • Use a non-hormonal method of birth control (such as condoms, spermicidal foam or gel) while continuing to take Freya-28 pills until they see their healthcare provider and obtain another oral contraceptive.
  • Return unopened packages to their pharmacist.
  • Report any adverse reactions potentially related to Freya-28 to Health Canada.
  • Contact Health Canada’s toll-free line at 1-800-267-9675 with questions or complaints about this product

The Public Health is also advising local pharmacies and healthcare providers about this recall.

Residents who do not have a healthcare provider and have questions or concerns about this recall or other sexual health matters can contact the Sexual Health Clinic at 705-748-2021. Further information about sexual health is also available at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca under “My Life & Health”.

More details about the recall are also available on the Health Canada website at http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2013/35315a-eng.php.



For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391