Needle Exchange, Naloxone and Opioids

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) provides support for individuals that use drugs and opioids.

Needle Exchange program

Our needle exchange program (Gear Works) helps ensure that individuals that use substances have access to sterile 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.

To learn more about opioid-related overdoses and deaths occurring locally and throughout Ontario, check out Public Health Ontario’s Interactive Opioid Tool.


Huron Perth Public Health offers naloxone kits and training to help people who use drugs. Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and allow time for medical help to arrive.

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.

Find out where you can access free naloxone kits in Ontario by using the online locator map. 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: