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Kingston, Ont. health unit warning public about drug poisoning, citing 50 per cent increase since Feb. 24

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The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health (KFL&A) is alerting the public, after they saw a 50 per cent increase in apparent drug poisonings.

The alert comes a few weeks after the City of Belleville declared a state of emergency, due to the growing addiction, mental health and homelessness crisis.

In a statement on Thursday, the KFL&A health unit said "consumption and treatment services in Kingston are reporting a 50 per cent increase in apparent drug poisonings since Feb. 24.”

The health unit says the poisonings typically occur when a user mixes multiple substances together, and/or doesn’t use a safe injection site.

“This is something that’s been going on since 2015,” said Anoushka Moucessian, a public health promoter with the KFL&A health unit. “I just want people to know that this is something that’s ongoing and that is affecting people across our community and also beyond our community, nationally as well.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford was in Belleville on Friday, and said the province recognizes the growing issues.

“It’s a real problem around our province right now,” he explained. “In a lot of small communities, towns and cities. We’re going to be there to support all these communities."

The City of Kingston has multiple resources available for users, and encourages people to use them. The KFL&A health unit said part of the purpose of the release was to make people aware of the resources available in the area.

“We have access to the consumption and treatment services where there’s supervised use and folks on site if anything happens," Moucessian added.

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