Injection Drug Use Outreach Worker Program


March 14 2018: Purple Heroin Alert: Public Health Services has received multiple reports of overdoses attributed to “Purple Heroin”, a highly toxic fentanyl laced heroin, circulating in the community. This serves as an important reminder to the community that street drugs continue to be cut (mixed) with substances such as fentanyl.

There is no easy way to know what is in your drugs. You can't see it, smell it or taste it. Substances such as fentanyl and carfentanil can be cut (mixed) with other drugs. Even a very small amount can cause an overdose.

September 2017: Public Health Services has received reports of fentanyl laced methamphetamine circulating in the community. This serves as an important reminder to the community that street drugs can be cut (mixed) with substances such as fentanyl.

March 2017: Public Health Services has been notified of reports of a drug called “takeover” or "dirty fentanyl" which is crack laced with fentanyl. Reports are that this drug is causing an immediate and dangerous loss of consciousness. 

December 2016: Be aware that street drugs in Hamilton may contain a deadly opioid drug carfentanil. It is 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and is hidden in other drugs. It will cause more overdoses and deaths.

An opioid overdose is a medical emergency. Prevent opioid overdose death and save lives using the 4 C’s of safety:

  • Careful Use - Don’t use alone, go slow by testing the effect with small amounts first.
  • Carry naloxone - Get a FREE naloxone kit, and training at the following locations:
    • City of Hamilton Public Health Services Harm Reduction program: 905-546-4276.
    • Participating local pharmacies by calling the Drug and Alcohol Helpline: 1-800-565-8603.
  • Call 9-1-1 for every overdose. You, your friend or family member needs hospital care to survive.
  • CPR. Push Hard, Push Fast.

The Injection Drug Use Outreach program, or IDU program, provides HIV prevention, education, support and referrals for people who use injection drugs who are at risk of contracting HIV and Hepatitis C virus.

Injection Drug Use Outreach program hours and locations

Call the IDU outreach worker at 905-546-4276 from Monday to Friday between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The outreach worker can meet with you on the street, in your home or at community locations such as the Van, shelters or other public spaces. 

Services through the Injection Drug Use Outreach program

We provide the following services through an IDU outreach worker:

  • HIV, hepatitis C and safe injection information
  • information about reducing harm
  • referrals to social, medical and addiction services
  • support such as brief counselling, food, clothing and housing

Our services are confidential and non-judgemental.