The Belleville Police Service says they responded to a total of 14 overdose incidents in a short span of time on Tuesday evening.
“Thankfully, no deaths have been reported,” said a media release that came out just before 9 p.m.
An initial release earlier in the evening advised the public to avoid unnecessary travel to the city’s downtown core due to the overdose surge.
At that time, police said emergency services were actively responding to thirteen overdose cases within the past hour alone. Individuals were strongly advised to steer clear of areas where emergency personnel were actively engaged in assisting those in distress. Motorists were also urged to cooperate with law enforcement directives, facilitating clear traffic lanes for emergency vehicles and personnel.
“The Belleville Police Service would like to thank the public for their cooperation and assistance in refraining from unnecessary travel to the downtown core while emergency officials including police, fire and EMS responded to a high volume of overdose calls in the area,” the later media release read. “All emergency crews have now cleared the area and all roads are fully opened again.”
The Belleville Police Service underscored the importance of heeding advice from the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit, particularly for individuals who use drugs. Recommendations include avoiding solitary drug use, refraining from drug mixing, administering small amounts initially to mitigate poisoning risks, and ensuring access to naloxone kits.
For those using drugs alone, the National Overdose Response Service can be reached at 1-888-688-6677, providing assistance and support.
Belleville police, in collaboration with partner agencies, are actively addressing the situation and extending necessary aid to affected individuals. Updates on response efforts will be disseminated as new information arises.