Stay Safe Over the Holidays

Written by Comms Team, December 22, 2022

Holiday Closures and Safety Tips to Prevent Drug Poisonings

With the holiday season approaching, Peterborough Public Health and partners are reminding community members about the importance of drug poisoning prevention and not using drugs alone. Drug poisonings and other harms may increase over the holiday season as this time of year can trigger sadness, stress, anxiety, and other difficult emotions. While people use drugs for many different reasons, this can lead to consuming more alcohol and/or other drugs in an effort to cope with or manage these feelings. If you or a loved one uses drugs, practicing harm reduction, planning ahead, and connecting to available supports can help everyone stay safe this holiday season.

Whether you are currently experiencing a mental health or substance use concern, or are working towards recovery, connecting with a trusted friend or family member and reaching out to them regularly may be helpful.?It is important to remember that you are not alone and support is available.?Any substance bought from an unregulated supply should be considered tainted. This means that it may contain toxic substances and/or other drugs, for example benzodiazepine (benzos). Benzos slow down breathing when they are mixed with opioids, which increases the risk for overdose and death. A benzo-related overdose can last for hours and make it difficult to wake the person up.  Stay Safe This Holiday Season 

Drug poisoning is possible from all forms of drug consumption. If you inject, inhale, snort, or ingest drugs:

  • Never share supplies. Avoid using damaged or modified pipes/needles.
  • Do not use drugs alone.
  • Ask someone to check on you.
  • Call the National Overdose Response Service 1-888-688-6677.
  • Visit the Consumption Treatment Services site at 220 Simcoe Street. Open 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., daily.
  • If you are using with a friend, do not use at the exact same time.
  • Carry a naloxone kit. Keep it visible and close by, and ensure you know how to use it.
  • Avoid mixing drugs.
  • Test your drug by using a small amount first. Start low, go slow.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone starts to show signs of an overdose and/or cannot be resuscitated after naloxone is administered. Under Canada’s Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, anyone who seeks medical help for themselves or for someone else who has overdosed, WILL NOT be charged for using or possessing drugs for personal use.

Signs of an Opioid Poisoning

Community members are encouraged to know the signs of a drug poisoning and how to respond.

An opioid poisoning may look like:

  • Skin is cold and clammy;
  • Fingernails or lips are blue or purple;
  • Body is very limp;
  • Cannot wake the person up;
  • Deep snoring or gurgling sounds;
  • Breathing is very slow, erratic or has stopped; and/or
  • Pupils are very small.

A benzo-related poisoning may look like:

  • Extreme sleepiness or passing out
  • Poor balance and movement control
  • Slurred speech
  • Blackouts and memory loss

If you suspect an overdose, call 9-1-1 right away. Give naloxone if available, and stay with the person until help arrives.                                                                                                                          

Where to Get Supplies Over the Holidays

Although many local community agencies will be closed between Friday, December 23 and Tuesday, January 3, the following services will remain available:

Naloxone and Emergency Overdose Response

  • Peterborough County-City Paramedics
    • All paramedics carry naloxone for distribution. When attending a drug-related 9-1-1 call, paramedics can provide naloxone kits to the patient whether or not naloxone has already been administered.

Naloxone and Other Harm Reduction Supplies

  • One Roof – 99 Brock Street
    • Drop-in services are available from 8:30 am to 9:00 pm 7 days/week, until January 2.
  • FourCAST – 200-130 Hunter Street W.
  • Closed on December 26, December 27, and January 2.
  • Regular hours on all other days, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • CMHA – 466 George Street North
  • Open 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on December 23 and 30.
  • Closed on December 26, 27, and January 2.
  • Open December 28 and 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Regular hours resume on January 3.
  • 360 Degree Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic – 360 George Street N.
  • Closed on December 26 and January 2.
  • Open December 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Regular hours on all other scheduled days(28 at 8:30am to 2:00pm, and 29/30 at 8:30am to 4:00pm).
  • Mobile Support Overdose Resource Team (MSORT)?
  • Closed on December 26 and 27, and January 2.
  • For more information, please call the MSORT mobile office at 705-760-0673.
  • Elizabeth Fry Society – 150 King Street, 4th Floor
  • Closed from December 23 at 12:00 p.m. to January 2 at 9:00 a.m.
    • Peer Support Line will be available 24/7 for calling or texting at 705-768-4334 for harm reduction supplies and naloxone.
  • PARN?
  • Closed from December 23 at 12:30 p.m. to January 3 at 9:00am.
  • Regular hours resume on January 3.

Addiction Treatment Services (Alcohol and Drug Use)

  • Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinic
  • Closed December 26 and January 2.
  • Regular hours on all other scheduled days.

Drug Poisoning Prevention

  • Consumption and Treatment Services Site – 220 Simcoe Street
  • Open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for service users.
  • National Overdose Response Service?
  • 1-888-688-6677 (NORS)
  • Krasman Centre – Warm Line & Peer Crisis Support Services?
  • Confidential and anonymous hotline/online chatline from a recovery and peer-informed perspective.
  • Call 1-888-777-0979; Available 24/7
  • 10:00am-Midnight

Crisis Response

  • Four County Crisis?
    • Call 705-745-6484 or toll-free 1-866-995-9933 to access 24-hour, free, confidential crisis support.
  • Telecare Distress Centre of Peterborough?
  • Call 705-745-2273 for free, non-judgmental, and confidential crisis support available 24/7.

For more information about opioid-related harms data, please visit? search for “Opioids”.

For further information, please contact: 

Sarah Gill
A/ Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 352