Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Opioid Deaths

Monthly Surveillance
Trend over Time
By Type of Drug
By Age and Sex

Monthly Surveillance

In May of 2017, the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario changed their approach in investigating drug-related deaths to provide more timely data. Preliminary opioid poisoning deaths data from 2018 (January-March) are now available on the Public Health Ontario Interactive Opioid Tool. Over the first three months of 2018 there were 12 confirmed and 10 probable opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka, which was 47% higher than the 15 opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka from January to March of 2017. These data are considered preliminary and subject to change.

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Trend over Time

In 2017, there were 81 opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka for a crude rate of 14.3 (11.2, 17.4) deaths per 100,000, which was significantly higher than the comparable provincial rate of 8.9 (8.4, 9.4) deaths per 100,000. The rate of opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka has been significantly higher than the provincial rates over the past five years (2013 to 2017 combined). There has been a significant increasing trend in opioid poisoning deaths both in Simcoe Muskoka and across all of Ontario since 2005; however, there was a substantial spike in deaths in 2017 relative to previous years, both locally and provincially.

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By Type of Drug

In 2017, there were 81 opioid poisoning deaths among Simcoe Muskoka residents, including 58 that were related to fentanyl. This means that nearly three-quarters of all opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2017 involved fentanyl. This was more than triple the number of fentanyl-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2016 and nearly six-times higher than the average number of fentanyl deaths from 2009 to 2015 in Simcoe Muskoka.

Also in 2017, 20 or one-in-four opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka involved heroin. The number of heroin-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2017 was four-time higher than what was observed from 2014 to 2016. Prior to 2014, heroin-related deaths were uncommon in Simcoe Muskoka with an average of less than one heroin-related death per year.

The per cent of opioid deaths related to oxycodone has decline significantly since 2009-2012 when this drug was involved in half of all opioid deaths. In 2017, less than one-in-ten opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka involved oxycodone.

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By Age and Sex

Opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka are highest among younger adult males. Between 2015 and 2017 (combined), there were 65 opioid poisoning deaths among adult males between the age of 25 and 44 years for a rate of 32.1 (24.8, 40.9) deaths per 100,000, which was more than double the rate for any other age group for both males and females.

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The deaths data come from the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario.