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Alert issued after 5 drug deaths in 5 days in Waterloo Region

Deaths took place April 1 to 5 with one death related to red coloured fentanyl
20200114 naloxone ts
Naloxone kits are available for free from the region / File photo

Officials have issued a community alert in the wake of five drug-related deaths in Waterloo Region in as many days.

The deaths took place from April 1 to 5, with one of the overdose/poisoning deaths related to red coloured fentanyl, police said.

They urged anyone who suspects a drug overdose/poisoning to call 911.

They also urged members of the public to get a naloxone kit. The kits, as well as harm reduction supplies, are free and available for pickup across Waterloo Region.

Naloxone only works on opioid related overdoses/poisonings, police noted.

For pickup of a kit at public health or a community partner location, visit or call 519-575-4400.

People who use drugs are being urged to never use substances alone. If using with a friend, do not use at the exact same time.

Try a small amount first and use less drugs when your tolerance may be lower.

Avoid mixing substances - do not use other downers (e.g. benzos, alcohol, or other opioids).

And have naloxone ready and know how to use it.

Another option is a consumption and treatment site, which is open seven days a week at 150 Duke St. W. in Kitchener, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with last call at 8:30 p.m.

If using alone, you can also call the National Overdose Response Service at 1-888-688-6677.

Officials stressed that anyone who is involved in a drug poisoning including the person needing help and anyone at the scene is protected from simple possession charges if they call 911 by the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act.

In the meantime, if someone overdoses, follow these steps:

  1. Call 911
  2. Administer naloxone if an opioid drug poisoning is suspected
  3. Perform rescue breathing and/or chest compressions
  4. Do not give any other substances because this can make the drug poisoning worse
  5. If there is no improvement, continue to give naloxone two to three minutes apart until paramedics arrive