SUDBURY -- Police recently issued a public alert regarding highly potent substances circulating Greater Sudbury.

In order to help the people who use street drugs, the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth is offering drug testing to detect substances that may cause overdoses.

Anyone can walk in and have their street drugs tested for free.

"Every once in a while, we might get a mom who found something in a backpack, very rarely, it’s usually people who are using regularly, people who know people who are using, regularly or living In homes with that. People who have witnesses an overdose," said Julie Gorman , executive director of the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth.

The testing detects substances the drugs are often cut with.

"It’s reducing the instances of unknowns in the community…so having to check what’s happening maintains the safety and reduces harm,” said Gorman.

"We are sharing information that there has been an increase in overdoses and that we want people to come in, get their drugs tested if they want and to have Naloxone on them, to be using clean syringes..." said Mitchell St. Cyr, a community support worker.

With the recent increase in overdoses, people who use street drugs are being urged to take precautions.

"Avoid using alone, to have someone check in on them if they can, not to use at the same time, not to mix with other medications, to carry a Naloxone kit," said Josee Joliat, public health nurse.

The latest stats show a dramatic increase in emergency calls for suspected overdoses.

In 2019, Greater Sudbury paramedics responded to 468 suspected opioid related incidents, more than double the amount in 2018.