Needle Exchange, Naloxone and Opioids

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) provides support for individuals using injection drugs and opioids.

Needle Exchange program

Our needle exchange program (Gear Works) helps ensure that injection drug users have access to sterile injection equipment. This helps prevent the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other blood-borne infections and diseases.


Opioids, such as oxycodone, morphine, heroin and fentanyl are highly addictive painkillers. Opioids come in prescription and street forms. Street opioids like fentanyl, carfentanil, and newer synthetic opioids vary in their strength and quality. They may contain other substances or be added to another drug.

HPPH monitors activity such as:

  • Overdose calls
  • Emergency room visits
  • Reports from healthcare professionals and support workers

This helps us track any increases in overdose deaths or near deaths so that we can alert our partners and the community.

What to do during an overdose

Learn how to recognize an opioid overdose. If you see someone experiencing an overdose, you should call 9-1-1 immediately and give them naloxone. Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily stop the effects of an opioid overdose.

Find out where you can access free naloxone kits in Ontario. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection for individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose.

Naloxone in the workplace

As of June 1, 2023, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) will require that naloxone be available in some workplaces in case a worker has an opioid overdose. 

Find out more about naloxone in the workplace and if you are required to have a naloxone kit at your workplace.

Additional resources

Opioid addiction is a national public health crisis. To learn more about opioids and efforts to stop the opioid crisis, check out these resources: