Ottawa Public Health (OPH), in partnership with Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, and the Ottawa Hospital, are encouraging residents to stay safe while celebrating Halloween this weekend.
Every year on Halloween, Ottawa sees a spike of alcohol and drug-related emergency room visits. Excessive alcohol and drug use can lead to falls, increased violence and potentially dangerous alcohol intoxication. In addition, there is an increased risk of alcohol and drug-facilitated sexual assaults.
There has been a recent increase in Ottawa of reports of adulterated MDMA (also known as Molly or Ecstasy), which are actually a type of bath salts. As well, there have also been recent incidents with magic mushrooms causing unusually strong hallucinogenic reactions. Use of illegal drugs, such as MDMA, can have life threatening and potentially fatal consequences. MDMA is made up of many different chemicals, the most common one being methamphetamine. The exact strength and ingredients of each pill are always unknown. This makes it difficult to determine the most effective medical treatments for the unexpected side effects.
To help plan your evening and to stay safe:
- Don’t mix alcohol and drugs.
- Before heading out, create a safety plan.
- Find out more about Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.
- Fuel your body with food, not just alcohol, and stay hydrated with water between drinks.
- Avoid taking drugs. If you choose to take them, remember where and from whom you got them in case a follow-up is needed.
- Plan your travel home with a designated driver or alternate ride. If you are walking, be sure you are easily visible to drivers and that you follow the rules of the road.
- If you feel unsafe or unwell, seek help immediately from people you know. Call 911 if someone shows personality changes, is unable to walk, or has a change in their level of consciousness.
For additional information, visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca and Parenting in Ottawa, or call Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). Connect with OPH on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest andTumblr.