OPP praise citizen for intervention during overdose

The Upper Ottawa Valley (UOV) Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is praising the quick action of a bystander who recently intervened during a drug overdose.

On April 1, 2024, at approximately 10:00 a.m., police and paramedics were called to a business in the 100 block of Pembroke Street East in Pembroke due to a suspected overdose at the location. Prior to the arrival of emergency services, a private citizen administered naloxone to temporarily reverse the effects of the drug overdose. Medical care was declined by the person who overdosed, and they refused to surrender their remaining quantity of drugs to police. 

As a result, police arrested the individual and during the course of the investigation suspected fentanyl and cocaine was seized. A 37-year-old female of no fixed address has been charged with the following Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and Criminal Code (CC) offences:

·        Possession of a schedule I substance – cocaine

·        Possession of a schedule I substance – fentanyl

·        Fail to comply with probation order

The accused will appear at a later date at the Ontario Court of Justice in Pembroke.

Concerned citizens, friends, family members and individuals who use street drugs can work together to reduce the risk of an overdose by putting the following measures in place:

• Don’t use alone – If you overdose and are with someone, they can get urgent help.

• Carry naloxone (Narcan®)- Naloxone can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose and kits are available for free throughout RCD at local pharmacies and other locations. For more information on where to get a kit please visit this link.

• Don’t mix drugs – Don’t mix drugs with other drugs or alcohol, as it puts you at higher risk of overdosing.

• Go slow – Quality of street drugs is unpredictable. If you are using street drugs, start by using in small amounts (testers or test doses) to check the strength of what you are using.

• Know your tolerance – Risk of overdose increases if you are a new user or have not used in 3 or more days.

• If you have no other choice than to use alone, always call the Overdose Prevention Hotline 1-888-688-6677 (National Overdose Response Service) to have someone standing by to call for help if needed. A volunteer will check in periodically and call 911 if there’s no response.

Understanding the signs of an overdose can help to save a life. These signs can include, but are not limited to:

• Person can’t be woken up.

• Breathing is slow or has stopped.

• Snoring or gurgling sounds.

• Fingernails and lips turn blue or purple.

• Pupils are tiny or eyes are rolled back.

• Body is limp.

All overdoses are a medical emergency and calling 911 is an important step in saving someone’s life.

Peever,S.,OPP Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment(2024,Apr.11) CITIZEN PRAISED FOR INTERVENTION DURING AN OVERDOSE [media release]

Image: OPP flash, 9-1-1 EMS Solutions International

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