Today is International Overdose Awareness Day: There are supports available for those in need of help

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August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. The goal of the global event is to increase awareness about overdoses and end the stigma. As well, we recognize the grief of families and friends whose loved ones have passed or been permanently injured because of an overdose.

The Expositor supplement, Out of the Shadows, published June 23, 2021 took an in-depth look at Manitoulin’s opioid crisis: “According to coroner records, seven people died on Manitoulin Island last year from opioid related causes. That’s nearly four times higher than in 2018 and 2019. In the Sudbury and Manitoulin areas over the past year, there were nearly four times more drug-related deaths than those from COVID-19.”

Paramedics are responding to an increasing number of suspected opioid overdoses, from five in 2018 to 48 in 2020. In the first four months of 2021, paramedics had already attended to 19 suspected opioid overdoses in the District of Manitoulin. Island paramedics have administered naloxone, the overdose reversal drug, 13 times since 2018.

An overdose is a medical emergency that requires immediate help. If you suspect someone is experiencing an opioid overdose, administer Naloxone and call 911. Naloxone is a life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose and is available free of charge at pharmacies and other organizations across Ontario.

If you or someone you know has a substance use problem, these are some local agencies that can help:

Crisis Supports:

Mnidoo Mnising Mental Wellness and Crisis Response Team 705-348-1937

Health Sciences North Crisis Intervention 1-877-841-1101

Manitoulin Family Resources Crisis Support Line 1-800-465-6788

Talk4Heaelting (Aboriginal Women) 1-855-554-4325

Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868

Counselling:

Health Sciences North, Little Current mental health and addictions program 705-368-0756

Compass Child and Youth Mental Health Services 1-800-815-7126

Noojmowin Teg Health Centre or Mnaamodzawin Health Services 705-368-2182

Manitoulin Family Resources 705-3400

Gwekwaadziwin Miikan 705-370-5307

Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre (Rainbow Lodge) 705-859-2324

Supplies (access to needle exchanges, safe sharps disposal, Naloxone and drug safety kits):

PHSD Mindemoya office 705-370-9200

Aundeck Omni Kaning Health Services 705-368-3171

M’Chigeeng Health Services 705-377-5347

Sheguiandah First Nation Health Services 705-368-1150

Sheshegwaning Health Services 705-283-3030

Whitefish River First Nation Health Centre 705-285-4354

Naandwe Miikaan, Wiikwemkoong 705-859-1390

Naaandwe Miikan harm reduction response team (Wiikwemkoong citizens) 705-280-9310