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1,000 naloxone kits handed out: Opioid crisis factors in health unit's annual report

Public Health Sudbury & Districts releases 2018 annual report
Public Health Sudbury & Districts released their 2018 annual report on April 22. (File)

Public Health Sudbury & Districts released its 2018 annual report on April 22.

In the report, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, PHSD medical officer of health and CEO, says that 2018 was a "foundational year for Public Health Sudbury & Districts".

"We worked hard to connect with local partners and create collective opportunities for health, and we implemented fundamental changes to public health at both the local and provincial levels," said Sutcliffe in the report.

Highlighted in the 2018 report was PHSD issuing three drug alerts over the course of the year in an effort to prevent drug overdoses and raise awareness. These alerts were triggered by reports about street drugs potentially containing deadly substances such as fentanyl and carfentanil.

In 2018, PHSD distributed nearly 1,000 naloxone kits and 222 refills. The health unit also launched videos about safe needle disposal and reducing stigma around drug use. These videos were viewed a combined 9,325 times.

The health unit is also responsible for issuing blue-green algae advisories, and issued eight in 2018. 

Public Health Sudbury & Districts fields hundreds of health hazard complaints over the course of the year, for everything ranging from mould, insects, rodents, spills, and air quality.

Health inspectors from PHSD investigated 534 health hazard complaints last year, 32 of which resulted in supporting marginalized populations in collaboration with PHSD's partner agencies. Inspectors also conducted 301 consultations and issued six orders to address health hazards in the community.

You can read the full Public Health Sudbury & Districts 2018 report here.