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Overdose is preventable: know the signs

There were more than 2,800 opioid-related deaths in Ontario in 2021. To combat this crisis, CMHA Simcoe County joins individuals and organizations in recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day (IAOD) on August 31. IAOD aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.

An overdose is a toxic amount of one or more substances that stop the body from working properly. Signs of opioid overdose include:

• Slow, weak or no breathing

• Blue lips or nails

• Dizziness and confusion

• Choking, gurgling or snoring sounds

• Drowsiness or difficulty staying awake

• Person is not moving or responsive

CMHA Ontario has developed a free, easy-to-understand resource to help identify the signs of
an opioid overdose and how to deliver life-saving naloxone – CMHA-Ontario-Reducing-Harms-Updated.pdf

CMHA Simcoe County offers The Opioid Treatment program which provides individual counselling and support to anybody concerned about their use of opioids or who is on Opioid Agonist Treatment. Individuals currently receiving Methadone, Suboxone or Sublocade treatment from another service provider are still eligible to receive services through this program. Service is also available to concerned family and friends.  As with all CMHA programs, individual counselling is provided within a Harm Reduction framework and focuses on enhancing a person’s health and wellness and reducing or preventing opioid-related harms.  More information here:  Opioid Treatment Program – CMHA Simcoe County (

The use of unregulated street drug supply increases risk as these substances are highly toxic with potent opioids that cause accidental fatal overdoses. CMHA supports safer opioid supply approaches in Ontario. Learn more about safer supply here. If you or someone you care about wants help for changing their drug use, help is available. Contact CMHA or call ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600.

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