POISON ALERT: OPC warns of possible contaminants in street drug supply

OPC lit up the province for National Poison Prevention Week!

The Ontario Poison Centre (OPC) recognized National Poison Prevention Week from March 20 to 26, 2016. This year, OPC chose to focus on the age group of seniors and older adults in an effort to dispel the myth that poisoning only happens to small children.

The OPC team got started early on Friday, March 18 by hosting a special themed edition of Toxicology Grand Rounds. Dr. Joanne Ho, Geriatrician-Clinical Associate at Grand River Hospital and former fellow of OPC, joined Heather Hudson, Advanced Practice Nursing Educator at OPC, to present on the topic of poisoning in seniors and older adults. The event was webcast through the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) with over 25 health science centres across the province participating.

The beginning of the week was bright as two national landmarks lit up on Monday, March 21, in OPC's official 'poison green' colour. Both Niagara Falls and the CN Tower shone bright in honour of the national awareness week.


Later in the week, the 3DToronto Sign was also lit in green. Members of OPC visited the landmark to take a group picture!


On March 23, OPC experts Heather Hudson and Dr. Howard An, Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology Resident, participated in a Twitter chat hosted by the Alliance for Aging Research. The chat focused on the topic of medications (#safemedschat). Experts in the field discussed best practices for how to safely choose, take, store and dispose of medications. Visit the Alliance for Aging Research website for a summary of the chat.

The week wrapped up with a visit to St. Luke's Place, a retirement community in Cambridge, Ontario. Heather Hudson and Carolyn Gooderham, Communications Specialist, spent several hours at the centre's coffee shop visiting with seniors, discussing tips for poison prevention and sharing useful materials to help prevent poisoning such as medication record cards.

Twitter was a hive of activity throughout the week as OPC joined conversations with other poison centres and awareness groups. The centre is proud to have increased our community of Twitter followers by over 35 per cent during Poison Prevention Week. You can follow the Ontario Poison Centre on Twitter @ON_Poison.