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Opioids in Our Communities

​​In the past few years, a new public health crisis has been identified. Deaths from the direct effect of opioid drugs are escalating.

Opioids are drugs that cause reduced consciousness and reduced breathing rate. During an overdose, breathing can stop leading to complications and, in some cases death Many new potent opioids, including fentanyl and its analogues, are causing many deaths in Canada. These may be used as substitutes for heroin and cocaine, or found as contaminants of these drugs. Even those who use opioids regularly may not be tolerant to these potent opioids, resulting in unexpected overdoses. The opioid known as carfentanil is an example of a fentanyl analogue.

​If you or a friend use drugs or you work with people who use drugs, please sign up to receive alerts by signing up at opioidalert@nwhu.on.ca with the subject line "receive alerts" and provide your email and/or SMS (cell) in your email.

We would like to hear from you. If you know about bad drugs or have noticed increases in overdoses either personally or professionally please let us know by by mailing opioidalert@nwhu.on.ca​

Emergency Room (ER) Visits from Opioid Overdose

These data represent all unscheduled emergency room visits where opioid overdose was the main or contributing cause.  Not all overdoses result in a visit to the ER, so these data most likely underrepresent the true volume of overdose in the area.​

Number of ER visits from opioid overdose by month, NWHU catchment area, 2017-2018​

A graph outlining Number of ER visits from opioid overdose by month, NWHU catchment area, 2017-2018​ 

ER visits from opioid overdose per 100,000, NWHU and Ontario, 2005-2018

A graph outlining ER visits from opioid overdose per 100,000, NWHU and Ontario, 2005-2018 

Calls Received by Emergency Medical Services (EMS)​

EMS calls where the primary reason was opioid overdose or other drug/alcohol overdose, Kenora and Rainy River Districts, 2018​

A table outlining EMS calls where the primary reason was opioid overdose or other drug/alcohol overdose, Kenora and Rainy River  

Hospitalizations from Opioid Overdose​

​These data refer to all hospitalizations where opioid overdose was the main or contributing cause. Not all overdoses result in hospitalization, so these data most likely underrepresent the true volume of overdose in the area. This data source currently has a lag time of approximately 5 months, so the data in this section is not fully up to date with the current situation on overdoses in the NWHU catchment area.​

Number of hospitalizations from opioid overdose by year, NWHU catchment area, 2005-2018

A chart outlining Number of hospitalizations from opioid overdose by year, NWHU catchment area, 2005-2018 

Hospitalization from opioid overdose per 100,000, NWHU and Ontario, 2005-2018​

A chart outlining Hospitalization from opioid overdose per 100,000, NWHU and Ontario, 2005-2018​ 

Deaths from Opioid Overdose​

These data refer to all deaths where opioid overdose was a contributing factor in the cause of death.  Deaths may have occurred from the use of a single opioid, or from the use of more than one opioid in combination with other medications, drugs, alcohol, etc.

Number of deaths from opioid overdose by year, NWHU catchment area, 2005-2018

A table outlining Number of deaths from opioid overdose by year, NWHU catchment area, 2005-2018 

Deaths from opioid overdose per 100,000, NWHU and Ontario, 2005-2018​A graph outlining Deaths from opioid overdose per 100,000, NWHU and Ontario, 2005-2018​

Naloxone Distribution​

2019 total​ ​January 2019 ​February 2019 ​​March 2019
Naloxone Distribution​​​​ ​82​8​ ​45 ​46 ​55
​Previous spray kits used
(2 sprays per kit)
​25 ​3 ​2 ​2
​Number of sprays administered ​49 ​3 ​4 ​3
  Source: NWHU internal NEP database
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