Sector News

  1. Overview of Overdose Awareness in Peterborough

    Summary of overdose statistics, community response and agency preparedness in Peterborough.

    View Document

  2. International Overdose Awareness Day – August 31st

    What is International Overdose Awareness Day?

    International Overdose Awareness Day is held on August 31st each year.

    Commemorating those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose, it also acknowledges the grief felt by their families and friends.

    Celebrated around the world, it aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death, especially for those mourning the loss of a loved one. It also spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

    An Inspired Idea

    International Overdose Awareness Day originated in Melbourne, Australia in 2001. Sally Finn, manager of a Salvation Army needle and syringe program, was touched by the sorrow she observed among the friends and families of those who had overdosed. She witnessed their inability to express that sorrow because of the stigma surrounding people who use drugs.

    Sally decided to organize an event of remembrance. To commemorate those who had died from overdose, Sally thought of distributing ribbons. She thought she’d need 500… she gave out 6,000.

    Eleven years later, that one event in the back yard of a suburban crisis centre has evolved into International Overdose Awareness Day, which is now celebrated around the world. Its global significance reflects the universality of the human emotions triggered by the tragedy of overdose – a tragedy that is preventable.


    • to diminish the shame and guilt associated with drug use (licit and illicit)
    • to provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn for loved ones
    • to include the greatest number of people and encourage non-denominational involvement
    • to give community members information about the issue of fatal and non fatal overdose
    • to send a strong message to current and former drug users that they are valued
    • to stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy
    • to provide basic information on the range of support services that exist in locally
    • to prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice
    • to remind all of the risks of overdose

    For more information & resources, visit: International Overdose Awareness Day Website

  3. Posted in:

    World Hepatitis Day is July 28th

    The international event consists of many local events focused on raising awareness about viral hepatitis and highlighting the importance of disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.

    At OHRDP we support local access to harm reduction supplies and prevention messaging while encouraging one-time use of supplies to help minimize risk of disease transmission, particularly hepatitis C and HIV, for people who use drugs.

    For more information and links to local events, you can visit:

  4. Posted in:

    London, Ontario reporting increased heroin use

    London, Ontario reporting an increase in heroin use.

    Click Here for full story.

  5. Posted in:

    Connex Ontario

    For a comprehensive database of drug, alcohol, & mental health services in Ontario, visit:

    Connex Ontario

  6. The First Seven Minutes

    “The First 7 Minutes” is a short film designed to promote discussion and the development and implementation of tailored overdose prevention protocols in all agencies that serve marginalized populations – from Needle Exchange Programs to Money Mart. It is part of a growing arsenal of resources and services being developed and delivered by the Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force and Toronto Public Health – The Works to help address the issue of overdose.


    Discussion Questions

  7. Ontario Harm Reduction Conference

    January 29, 30 & 31 at Courtyard by Marriott

    475 Yonge Street in downtown Toronto

    Conference Agenda