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 2019 (January-March) are now available on the Public Health Ontario Interactive Opioid Tool. In the first quarter of 2019 there were 13 confirmed opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka, which was similar to the number of opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in first quarters of 2017 and 2018. These data are considered preliminary and subject to change.

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Trend over Time

In 2018, there were 76 opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka for a crude rate of 13.2 (10.2, 16.2) deaths per 100,000, which was significantly higher than the comparable provincial rate of 10.2 (9.7, 10.7) 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 (2014 to 2018 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. In 2018 the provincial opioid-related death rate continued to increase significantly; whereas, the local rate was not significantly different from 2017.

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By Type of Drug

In 2018, there were 76 opioid poisoning deaths among Simcoe Muskoka residents, including 43 that were related to fentanyl. This means that more than half of all opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2018 involved fentanyl. This was lower than the 58 fentanyl-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2017; however, it was still more than four-times the average number of fentanyl-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka from 2010 to 2016 and more than 10 times the average number of fentanyl-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka from 2005 to 2009.

Also in 2017, 8 or one-in-ten opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka involved heroin. The number of heroin-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2018 was less than half of what was observed in 2017 and was similar to what was observed in 2015 and 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; however, in 2018 the number of oxycodone-related deaths nearly doubled.

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By Age and Sex

Opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka are highest among adult males between 25 and 64 years of age. In 2017 and 2018 (combined), there were 51 opioid poisoning deaths among adult males between the age of 25 and 44 years for a rate of 36.6 (27.2, 48.1) deaths per 100,000 and 46 deaths among males 45 to 64 years for a rate of 27.4 (20.1, 36.6) deaths per 100,000. These rates were more than double the comparable female age-specific opioid-related deaths rates.

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