Know the signs of overdose


The OPP encourages the public to know the signs of a drug overdose, and know how to react. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (GSDOA) provides some legal protection against simple drug possession charges for individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose, including the individual experiencing the overdose. The Act protects the person who seeks help, whether they stay or leave from the overdose scene before help arrives, and anyone else who is at the scene when help arrives.

Signs and symptoms of an overdose may include: difficulty walking, talking, and 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.

Police urge citizens not to handle any unknown substance, as some substances can be harmful to handle and require proper procedures and personal protective equipment. If a member of the community comes across something they suspect to be illegal drugs, they should notify the police, so the substance can be handled and disposed of in a safe manner.

Members of the public are also encouraged to ensure safe disposal of any expired or unused medication by contacting their pharmacy. Any prescription medication can be returned to a pharmacy or other prescription drug dispenser at any time. Medications can also be returned to hospitals or medical clinics or during a local prescription drug drop off/take back program.

The OPP is committed to supporting safe, healthy communities for all Ontarians. The OPP continues to work with community partners to strategically and collaboratively address the opioid crisis at the local and provincial levels.