Public health again cautions drug users after parking lot incident

(photo submitted by Grey Bruce Health Unit)

An alarming incident Monday has local health officials reminding drug users to be prepared.

Lambton OPP said officers and EMS responded to a call at around 3:30 p.m. at the Lambton Public Health parking lot.

Two people inside a vehicle were suffering from what appeared to be drug overdoses.

Lambton Public Health  Family Health Supervisor Rhonda Galler said in the event of an emergency or overdose, take naloxone and call 911.

“Always call for emergency backup because sometimes it takes more Narcan than you have on your person,” said Galler. “And people who have had Narcan administered to them should have backup medical care following administration. So calling 911 is once again the best thing to do.”

Lambton EMS responded to 119 suspected opioid overdose-related calls from January to August. That’s up from 69 for all of 2018.

“The EMS called overdoses only the tip of the iceberg,” said Galler. “There are many, many overdoses that are reversed by community members who have Narcan. A lot of people are resuscitated in their own living space and EMS is never called. I would say the situation is not getting any better at any rapid speed.”

The health unit’s September Surveillance Bulletin said the year-to-date local rate of ER visits is significantly higher than the provincial average.

Police remind drug users that the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act protects them from simple possession charges, in the event they have to report an overdose or call 911.