Cornwall Police Service and Eastern Ontario Health Unit Warn about Increase in Drug-Related Poisonings in Cornwall and Area

Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Cornwall Police Service and Eastern Ontario Health Unit Warn about Increase in Drug-Related Poisonings in Cornwall and Area

The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) and Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) are warning residents about an increase in drug-related poisonings in Cornwall and the surrounding areas. The health unit has been notified by its community partners that a toxic substance present in the unregulated drug supply is causing drug poisonings. The exact composition of the substance is currently unknown.

Drug poisoning prevention and safety tips

The best way to prevent a drug poisoning is to avoid street drugs and to only take medications that were prescribed to you by a healthcare professional. However, if individuals use street drugs, taking the following precautions will help to lower the risk:

  • Never use alone.
  • If you are going to use alone, call the National Overdose Response Service at 1-888-688-6677. A non-judgmental peer will stay on the line with you for approximately 30 minutes to provide support if needed.
  • Use only where help is available.
  • Don’t mix drugs.
  • Take a test dose and wait before taking more of the drug.
  • Get a free naloxone kit that can help to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
  • Use only new drug paraphernalia supplies and avoid sharing supplies to reduce your risk of getting or passing on an infectious disease.

Signs of an opioid poisoning

Opioids such as fentanyl slow down the part of the brain that controls breathing, and in the event of a poisoning, can cause someone to stop breathing altogether, resulting in their death. Individuals having an opioid poisoning will display one or more of the following signs:

  • They may be nodding off, not waking up easily, or unresponsive.
  • They may be breathing very slowly or not at all.
  • Their lips and fingernails may be blue/grey.
  • Their skin may be cold and clammy.
  • Their body may be limp, possibly very tense or they may be shaking.
  • They may be snoring or gurgling.
  • They may foam at the mouth or throw up.

If you witness a poisoning, it is essential to contact 911 as soon as possible. A naloxone kit alone may not be enough to reverse the fatal effects of opioids and medical attention may be required. As time is of the essence, naloxone should be administered while you wait for emergency services to arrive. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act may provide legal protection for individuals that seek emergency help during a poisoning.

To learn more about naloxone overdose prevention kits and where you can find them, visit the Opioids page on the EOHU’s website at, or visit


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