International Overdose Awareness Day: local emergency rooms saw an average of 43 overdose visits in the past 14 weeks

Many resources available to those who need them

The world marks International Overdose Awareness Day on Monday, a day to recognize overdoses can affect anyone.

“The reality is that overdose can affect anyone in Ontario,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott. “They could be our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, or our friends and colleagues. Today is an opportunity for Ontarians to share experiences, stories, learn more about the available mental health and addictions resources, including harm reduction and treatment services, that are offered in every corner of the province, and to help spread the word that overdose is preventable.”

Throughout August, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit noted 98 visits to emergency rooms across the region in connection to suspected overdoses. In July, there were 109. Over the past 14 weeks, there was an average of 43 ER visits a week across Simcoe and Muskoka, in connection to suspected overdoses.

There are a number of resources available to those battling the addiction or mental health issues that could lead to an overdose. Primary among them is the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Addiction Clinical Consultation Service at 1-888-720-2227 or at

The following is a list of services as provided by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit:


  • Mental Health Crisis Services CMHA
    • Simcoe County 705-728-5044
    • Muskoka and area 1-888-893-8333
      • Services offered:
        – 24 hour crisis line for Simcoe County and Muskoka area
        – Mobile response available in Barrie from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
        – Crisis response for children and adolescents 16 years and under can be arranged through Crisis Services/youth crisis workers
        – 5 non-medical crisis beds in Barrie for brief stays, available to people 16 years of age or older
        – Follow-up support upon discharge.
  • ConnexOntario
    • Drug and Alcohol Helpline 1-800-565-8603; 
      – Information and referral to alcohol and drug treatment services in Ontario.
    • Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600;
      Comprehensive information about mental health services.
    • The Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline 1-888-230-3505;
      – Information and referral service with interpretation available.
  • About Alcoholics Anonymous
    • Find an AA meeting
    • Online options available
  • Barrie AA Intergroup 705-725-8682
    • Meetings for Barrie, Base Bordon, Stroud and Tottenham.
  • Eastern Georgian Bay District 7 Area 86
    • Bracebridge: 705-646-2491
    • Midland: 705-526-3305
    • Orillia: 705-325-6385
      – Meeting for Bala, Beaverton, Bracebridge, Coldwater, Elmvale, Gravenhurst, Midland, Milford Bay, Orillia, Penetanguishene, Port Carling, Port McNichol, Rama Reserve, Victoria Harbour, Washago.
  • AA Huntsville/Parry Sound District 17
    • Huntsville: 705-789-8992
    • Parry Sound: 705-746-2464 

Assessment and Community Treatment

  • Addiction Outreach Muskoka Parry Sound 1-800-668-1856
    • Offices in Bracebridge, Huntsville and Gravenhurst
    • Assessment, community treatment, case management – substance abuse and problem gambling, awareness.
  • Mental Health and Addiction Services of Simcoe County 1-800-263-5060
    • Formerly Simcoe Outreach Services – new name as of December 2010
    • Offices in Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Collingwood and Alliston.
    • Assessment, referral and counseling in Simcoe County regarding alcohol, drugs or gambling.
    • Programs include: gambling, youth, adult, court diversion, methadone, community withdrawal management, significant others and programs for pregnant women/new mothers.

Withdrawl Management

  • Royal Victoria Hospital Community Care Centre, Barrie 705-728-4226
    • Safe and supportive for detoxification.
    • Assessment, referral, motivation

Residential Treatment

  • Simcoe County Muskoka Parry Sound Recover Homes (SCMPS Recovery Homes) Orillia 705-325-3566
    • Long-term program for treatment and rehabilitation.
    • Blended treatment model including bio-psychosocial, cognitive-behavioural and 12-Step. 
    • Three phase program: orientation, intensive, prevention/after-care.
  • Georgianwood Concurrent Disorders Program – Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene 1-877-341-4729
    • 3-month (flexible) residential program for concurrent disorders (substance use disorder and another mental illness).
    • Cognitive-behavioural therapy for depression and anxiety disorders; skills training, psycho-education, relapse prevention skills, self-help, coping skills.
    • Program for concurrent post-traumatic stress disorder, yoga, spirituality, stress management, employment group and problem gambling.

Counselling and Case Management

  • Concurrent Disorders Program: Muskoka Parry Sound Community Mental Health & Addiction Outreach 1-800-668-1856
    • Treatments: bio-psychosocial, therapeutic community milieu therapy, stages of change, harm reduction, multidisciplinary, motivational, and cognitive/behavioural.
    • Counseling and education sessions for those affected by someone else’s substance abuse.
  • CONNECT Counselling Services – Canadian Hearing Society 705-737-4911 or TTY 705-737-3190
    • Offices in Barrie and Bracebridge
    • Mental health, wellness and addiction services for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and families.
    • Support, education, advocacy and counseling.
    • Assessment, treatment and referral.

Inpatient Treatment

  • Mental Health Centre, Penetanguishene (MHCP) 705-549-3181
    • Inpatient admission and assessment.
    • Acute care and long term care for people with serious mental illness. 
    • Including geriatric, dually diagnosed, concurrent disorder, forensic services and long term complex rehabilitation services.
  • Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital – Mental Health & Addiction Program 705-325-2201 ext. 6337
    • In-patient treatment for acutely mentally ill adults.
    • Multi-disciplinary team.
    • Pharmacotherapy, group therapy and individualized daily assessments.
    • Available to residents of Muskoka and the North East portion of Simcoe County.  

Aboriginal Services

  • Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre Midland 705-526-5589
    • Intake, assessment, community treatment of alcohol/other drug issues for urban and transient Native people of the Georgian Bay region.
  • Chippewas of Rama Addictions Program , Rama 705-325-3611 ext. 1423
    • Gga wiidookaadmin (let’s all help each other) incorporates the circle model.
    • All decisions are made by consensus.
    • All views are valued and all ideas are respected. 
    • Talking Circle model for healing and growth.
  • Enaahtig Healing Lodge & Learning Centre 705-534-3724
    • Residential and non-residential traditional healing programs integrated with contemporary skills and practices. 
    • Screening and assessment, care planning, counseling, case management, family consultation for families affected by mental health challenges and concurrent disorders.
  • B’saanibamaadsiwin – Muskoka Parry Sound Community Mental Health Service 705-746-2512
    • Culturally relevant and community-specific mental health services to the First Nations communities of Parry Sound and Muskoka.
    • Assessment and referral, crisis counseling, community development and consultation.  

Resources for Family and Friends

  • Family Mental Health Initiative of Simcoe County 705-725-0363 or 1-800-324-3252
    • Fax: 705-725-5496;
    • 151 Essa Road, Suite 202, Barrie, ON L4N 3L2
  • 211
    • Can be accessed by phone and website .
    • Often individuals experiencing addictions have multiple needs. 
    • Visit 211 to access local information regarding community, social, health and government services.
    • Free, anonymous and confidential. Service is multilingual.