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Opioid alert issued after multiple drug poisonings, including one death

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Grey Bruce Public Health (GBPH) issued an Opioid Alert after one fatal and three non-fatal drug poisonings over the past five days, marking the seventh such alert since June 1.

In a news release on Monday, Monica Blair, manager of GBPH's harm reduction program, noted a deep concern about the situation.

"Our goal in issuing opioid alerts is to both warn people who use substances about the potential toxicity of the local drug supply and to remind them to follow critical harm reduction strategies. These strategies can and do save lives," she stated.

This month alone, there have been nine reports of suspected drug poisonings, with purple fentanyl believed to have been used in the most recent incidents.

The health unit encourages drug users to take advantage of drug test kits before using. The kits can detect fentanyl, benzodiazepines, and xylazine, and are available to the public.

GBPH also urges individuals to have a friend present when using drugs or to use services like the National Overdose Response Service (NORS) by calling or texting 1-888-688-6677. A NORS operator will stay on the line with the person while they use the drug and will call 911 if the person becomes unresponsive.

Health experts warn that all street drugs should be treated as potentially fatal.

"People who use drugs are at significant risk of overdose due to contamination of the local drug supply with fentanyl, sedatives, and animal tranquillizers," GBPH added.

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