MEDIA RELEASE: Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

March 1, 2021

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has detected a spike in overdoses in the Brockville and Smiths Falls areas over the past 8 days. This spike has been identified through the Overdose Early Warning System that collects overdose information from our local hospitals and through the online overdose reporting tool.

The Health Unit along with community partners are cautioning the community that Leeds, Grenville and Lanark continue to grapple with a dangerously toxic substance supply. The Health Unit also reminds the community that naloxone may not be as effective in reversing overdoses due to the contamination of substances with other drugs such a benzodiazepines (ex. Xannax).

All overdoses are a medical emergency and calling 911 remains the most important step in saving someone’s life. Anyone who suspects or witnesses an overdose should call 9-1-1. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection against simple drug possession charges for anyone who experiences, witnesses or responds to an overdose and calls 9-1-1.

The risk of an overdose can be reduced by following safer use practices;

– Calling 911 in the event of an overdose

– Carry a naloxone kit

– Avoid mixing substances

– Use a small test dose first

– Do not use alone (maintain COVID – 19 precautions)

Harm reduction supplies (single use equipment, naloxone and drug checking test strips), and further access to services and referrals will continue to be offered throughout Leeds, Grenville and Lanark during the COVID – 19 pandemic. Please visit the Health Unit website for more information: