Skip to main content

What is an overdose?

An overdose means a person has too much of a substance in their body. When alcohol, cannabis, street drugs or prescription medicine are taken in toxic amounts, the body becomes overwhelmed.

An overdose can seriously harm someone, and can be deadly if they don't get medical help right away.

Everyone can learn and help keep everyone safe

How can an overdose happen?

If your tolerance is lower. 

Maybe you’re using a new drug, or you took a break from using for a while.

If you're having health issues.

If you're tired, run down, dehydrated or have other health complications, like a long-term or chronic illness, you're at a higher risk to overdose.

If you mix drugs.

Even if it's prescription medicine, you risk an overdose if you combine drugs and alcohol.

If the drugs are different or unknown.

Maybe you changed dealers or towns. What you're taking could be stronger than usual, or tainted.

By accident.

An adult or child might accidentally take a drug.

If you or someone nearby might be overdosing, act fast! Get emergency medical help right away.

If you're calling emergency services for someone nearby, stay with them until help arrives.

Emergency numbers in your community

If you, or someone you know, are using alcohol and/or drugs excessively, or struggling to quit, there is hope to make positive changes in your life.

There are services available in your local CMCs and we encourage you to consult and talk about it.


Wiichihiiwaauwin (Mental Health) Helpline

Service available 24/7. Cree speakers and Elders are available upon request 

Our Partners

Grand Council of the Crees logo
Santé et des Services sociaux logo
Health Canada logo