Rise in overdoses, three suspected deaths leads to alert in Waterloo Region

By Erin Anderson

An alert has been issued after a recent rise in overdoses in the community.

According to the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy, there has been an increase in the number of reported drug poisonings in the last week. 

It includes three suspected overdose-related deaths between Feb. 11 and Feb. 14. 

In a post on social media, Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services said the trend indicates there's a powerful opiate or opioid circulating in the illicit drug supply. 

Those who use substances are being reminded to take precautions, like never using alone and always carrying naloxone. You can see full tips from WRIDS below. 


  • Call 911.
  • Administer naloxone if an opioid drug poisoning is suspected.
  • Perform rescue breathing and/or chest compressions.
  • Do not give any other substance(s) because this can make the drug poisoning worse.
  • If no improvements, continue to give naloxone 2-3 minutes apart until paramedics arrive.
  • If you have to leave the person unattended, put them in the recovery position.


  • Never use substances alone. If using with a friend, do not use at the exact same time or use the National Overdose Response Service (NORS) at 1-888-688-6677.
  • 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, and other opioids).
  • Have naloxone ready and know how to use it.
  • Use at the Consumption & Treatment Services (CTS) site at 150 Duke Street West.

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