Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

NAS Hospital Admissions

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a condition where a baby is exposed to addictive drugs (like opioids) while in the mother’s womb and has become dependent on the drug. The baby can experience withdrawal symptoms shortly after birth.

In 2017, there was an average of one infant per week in Simcoe Muskoka that was admitted to hospital for NAS, for a rate of 11.0 (8.4, 14.3) admissions per 1,000 live hospital births. This was nearly double the Ontario NAS rate of 6.1 (5.7, 6.6) admissions per 1,000 live hospital births.

The NAS rates increased significantly in Simcoe Muskoka from 2003 to 2013, but the rates have leveled off since 2013. The provincial NAS rates have been steadily increasing over the 15-year time period from 2013 to 2017. The NAS rates in Simcoe Muskoka have been significantly higher than the provincial rates since 2009.


For the time period from 2013 to 2016 (combined) in Simcoe Muskoka, NAS hospital admission rates were highest among infants living in areas with the highest prevalence of low-income. A similar increase in the rates of opioid overdose emergency visits by low-income prevalence was also observed in Simcoe Muskoka for the same time period.