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Rise in opioid-related EMS calls, emerg visits in June

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Tara Jeffrey

Sarnia-Lambton saw a rise in EMS calls and hospital visits related to opioid overdose in June, according to the latest data from Lambton Public Health (LPH).

In its opioid bulletin, the health unit points to 23 opioid overdose-related EMS calls in June, compared to 11 calls in May, bringing the total number of calls this year to 104.

There were nine emergency department visits linked to opioid overdose last month, compared to two in May — higher than the provincial average, the health unit noted.

Earlier this month, LPH issued a public health advisory following reports of ten suspected opioid overdoses/toxicity over a five-day period beginning June 29.

Narcan nasal spray is a popular version of naloxone, an antidote to fentanyl overdose. (Troy Shantz photo)

Six opioid overdose-related deaths have been reported between January and March of this year for Lambton, though the data is still considered preliminary.

“We ask that partners continue to share harm reduction messaging to those at risk,” the health unit said in an update, urging those at risk to always carry naloxone, avoid mixing drugs, never use along, and ‘start low, go slow.’

Lambton Public Health’s harm reduction program is available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed 12-1pm) to distribute supplies, including naloxone kits.

Nearly 300 naloxone kits were distributed locally last month, totalling 2,160 this year.

Residents are reminded to check the expiry date on your naloxone kit and if expired, have them replaced where kits are available.

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