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Teens who thought they were smoking pot overdose on unknown substance, saved by police

Last Updated May 16, 2019 at 4:40 pm EST

A Halton Regional Police Service cruiser is seen in an undated file photo. HANDOUT

Halton regional police are applauding a neighbour who called for help after two teenagers suffered apparent opioid overdoses at a home in Milton.

Police said anyone who witnesses a suspected overdose should call 911.

The Milton incident took place on Wednesday afternoon, when two 18-year-old boys were at the home with several other high school students. The group went outside to smoke what they thought was cannabis, the force said.

Shortly after consuming the substance, police say the boys lost consciousness and started having seizures, prompting a neighbour to call 911.

When officers arrived, they administered the overdose-reversing drug naloxone to the boys, who have since fully recovered.

The force urged anyone who comes across a suspected overdose case to dial 911, pointing to a recent federal law that offers some legal protection for Good Samaritans — even if they’re the ones using illicit drugs.

“We really encourage both youth and adults that, if there’s a medical emergency as a result of drug use, call 911. Officers will come, as they did yesterday, and they will save lives. The rest of it is secondary,” Insp. Kevin Maher said Thursday.

“We are there to help. We are there to save lives. We’re not worried about whether you have, in your possession, narcotics.”

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which became law in 2017, offers protection from charges of possession of a controlled substance and breach of conditions related to possession.

It does not offer protection from outstanding warrants, production and trafficking charges or any other crimes.

It applies to anyone who seeks emergency help during an overdose, including the person experiencing it, as well as anyone else at the scene when help arrives.

Police said it’s not yet clear what drug the teens had consumed, but said they exhibited signs of an opioid overdose.