drug paraphernalia2020 270211 Ontario and the Grey Bruce Health Unit are launching an anonymous reporting system to help share information on unexpected bad reactions to street drugs.

Anyone can call 211 and anonymously report a bad batch of drugs and unintended or unwanted effects of taking a drug, including overdose and Naloxone use. These reports are shared with local partners so they can alert people using drugs about potential hazards. The goal of this program is to create awareness of potentially deadly drugs hitting the streets.

"We wanted to create a safe way that people who use drugs can easily and safely report a toxic substance. We know, many times, the street drug supply is toxic, containing Fentanyl and Carfentanil, and more,” said Ian Reich, Public Health Manager. "We hope that giving an anonymous voice to those that use these drugs, we can rapidly alert our health and social systems in Grey and Bruce of potentially dangerous street drugs, and ultimately, try to save lives. By partnering with 211, we can provide a real-time way to keep people safer!"

This reporting system is anonymous. Callers will be encouraged to seek immediate medical attention if that has not already been done at the time of the call and to report concerns to Crime Stoppers or their local police as needed. No personal information will be collected, and the police do not use this information for investigations or enforcement. This reporting process is only used to share information so people can stay safe.

"Report a Drug is a vital new service. Our 211 helpline is pleased to work with other community partners to help keep community members safe," said Pam Hillier, Executive Director with 211 Central East Ontario.

211 is a national helpline answered by Community Navigators, who help people find and access community, social, health, and government assistance programs. 211 is 24/7 and free to call.