OPH warns of drug and alcohol-related overdose risk during post-secondary return to school

As chair of the Ottawa Board of Health I want to share with you that Ottawa Public Health, in partnership with the Overdose Prevention Task Force, is reminding college and university students to be aware of the risk of drug and alcohol-related harms, including overdose, during welcome-back and orientation week activities. While alcohol in moderation can be a pleasurable part of a celebration, students are urged to know their limits and stay within them.

Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs can potentially lead to injuries, increased violence, and dangerous alcohol intoxication and overdose. In Ottawa, cases of reported sexual assaults increase during university orientation week activities.

The most effective way to avoid an overdose is not to use illegal substances. Street drugs are not controlled substances. As such, unknown drug dosage, drug purity, and contamination issues may increase the risk of adverse reactions or potential overdose.

Prescription drugs can also be as harmful as illegal street drugs when misused or taken without a doctor’s prescription. Taking these medications together with alcohol and/or other drugs can have serious and possibly deadly consequences.

For more information on how to lower your risk of drug and/or alcohol overdoses and other associated harms please visit here .

For additional information you can also visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca or call Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).