The number of suspected drug poisonings in our region, in the province, and across the country, continues to increase. Each of these is a preventable tragedy.

Tips to Save a Life in the Event of a Drug Poisoning

If you use drugs, or have a friend or family member who uses drugs, these tips may help save a life in the event of a poisoning:

Know the Signs

A drug poisoning is a medical emergency. Know the signs of a drug poisoning and call 9-1-1 right away:

  • difficulty walking, talking, or staying awake
  • blue lips or nails
  • very small pupils
  • cold and clammy skin
  • dizziness and confusion
  • extreme drowsiness
  • choking, gurgling or snoring sounds
  • slow, weak, or no breathing
  • inability to wake up, even when shaken or shouted at

Don't Run. Call 9-1-1.

Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) frontline officers, and other first responders in Halton, carry naloxone and we want to assist. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides broad legal protections for anyone seeking emergency support during a drug poisoning, including the person experiencing the poisoning. This means citizens, including youth, will not be charged for offences such as simple possession for calling 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Carry NaloxoneAn illustration of a first aid kit with the word naloxone on it

Naloxone can temporarily reverse an opioid poisoning. It is available free-of-charge in Halton at:

Naloxone Kits Available

As part of our ongoing commitment to Community Safety and Well-Being, we have made lifesaving naloxone kits more readily available through a pilot program with Halton Region Public Health to those who would like them. The free kits, which contain two doses of NARCAN spray (a type of naloxone), one pair of latex gloves, one rescue breathing barrier, and pamphlet containing directions for use, are offered to everyone, no questions asked – and no records kept, through our Central Lock-Up (CLU) as well as by frontline Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT) members, Community Mobilization Officers, and support personnel. Each of these close to 50 officers, special constables, and staff members has received specialized training in this vital first aid tool. This training not only includes how to use the kits, but how to connect those interested with additional community supports.  

Never Use Alone

Don't use drugs alone, and don't let those around you use alone either. If you are using with someone else, don't use at the same time. If a drug poisoning occurs, having another person nearby can save your life.

If you must use alone, we encourage you to download the Brave App. The Brave App is designed to connect people at risk of drug poisoning with help they need: an ally you can talk to, a human supporter to help you stay safe, and digital monitoring technology to help you when you’re in danger. The Brave App is not a substitute for calling 911.

How the App Works

  1. A person at risk of drug poisoning can use the app to connect with remote, peer support through a voice call.
  2. If your supporter thinks you might be a drug poisoning (through a pre-determined span of non-response), they will request access to the details of your private Rescue Plan. This plan can include your location, access instructions, and an emergency contact to call instead of, or in addition to, calling 911.
  3. You will then receive a 10-second countdown alert letting you know that information will be shared unless you indicate that you are ok by dismissing the alert.
  4. If you are unable to dismiss the alert, then that information will be revealed to your supporter, who will only use it for the purpose of sending help.

Download it here:

Download on the Apple Store Download on Google Play

Go Slow

The quality of street drugs is unpredictable. Any drug can be cut with, or contaminated by, other agents or drugs (e.g. fentanyl), which in very small amounts can be harmful or fatal. Know your tolerance and always use a small amount of a drug first to check the strength.

Additional Resources

If you are a parent, talk with your children about the very significant risks and dangers associated with the use of any illicit drug or controlled substance. There are many online resources available, including the website

There are agencies and supports in place within our community to assist people who are suffering from addictions, and their families. Please see our Substance Use Resource Pamphlet and Guide for Families Impacted by a Drug-Related Death, or visit our community partners below:

ADAPT – Halton Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Assessment Prevention & Treatment Services

ADAPT is a non-profit, community-based, outpatient addiction, assessment, and treatment agency funded by the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and the United Way to provide a range of services throughout the Halton region. ADAPT is dedicated to empowering persons with alcohol, drug, and/or gambling concerns, and their families, to manage these concerns and to lead fulfilling lives through the provision of comprehensive assessment and treatment services, corresponding to need. ADAPT's services and programs are available for adults and youth and include:

  • Assessment, Treatment and Referral Services (Adult)
  • Days Ahead Program – Assessment, Treatment and Referral Services (Youth)
  • Community Justice Programs
  • Know the D.E.A.L. Program (Youth)

For more information about ADAPT services or to book an appointment, call the Intake Desk at 905-639-6537 ext. 0. If this is long distance, call 905-693-4250 ext. 0. Collect calls are also accepted. Hours of operation are from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Also, visit the ADAPT website for more information.

CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) – Halton Region Branch

CMHA provides support for mental health and addictions through education programs, free walk-in counselling programs, crisis intervention through the Crisis Outreach and Support team (COAST program), support and peer-support programs.

For more information on CMHA services call 905-693-4270 or toll-free 1-877-693-4270. Also, visit the CMHA Halton website for more information.

If someone is experiencing a mental health crisis:


Provides free and confidential health service information for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental illness and/or gambling. Information and referral services are live-answer 24/7, confidential, and free: 1-866-531-2600.

Also, visit the ConnexOntario website for more information.

Halton Healthcare - How Naloxone Works

Halton Healthcare has created two informative videos that explain how naloxone works to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Halton RAAM (Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine) Clinic

The Halton RAAM Clinic provides evidence-based addiction medicine treatments for a variety of substance-use disorders, including alcohol, opioids, tobacco, and benzodiazepine tapering.

The clinic accepts referrals from any source, including self-referral, and patients can also arrive on a walk-in basis. Call 1-888-388-7226 for an appointment.

Also, visit the Halton RAAM website for more information.

Halton Region Exchange Works Program

Exchange Works is a program of Halton Region's Harm Reduction Services. As part of this program, outreach workers and public health nurses operate a mobile outreach service in Halton Region that involves:

  • Exchanging used injection/smoking supplies for new injection/smoking supplies
  • Providing health information to clients
  • Distributing safer sex supplies
  • Referring clients to community agencies that have the tools to help access rehabs

Services offered:

  • Safer injection supplies
  • Safer steroid supplies
  • Safer inhalation supplies
  • Safer sex supplies
  • Nasal naloxone training and kits
  • Education
  • Written information and referrals
  • STI and HIV testing, along with Hep A + B vaccines
  • Presentations (by request)

You can access Exchange Works by:

  • Texting or calling mobile outreach services (on a confidential cell phone)
  • Visiting one of the Halton Region clinics.

Needle exchange services available at Burlington and Oakville clinics

Monday-Friday 1-4 p.m.