Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Opioid Emergency Department Visits

Monthly Surveillance
By Year
By Age & Sex
By Income

Monthly Surveillance

Effective April 1, 2017, all Ontario hospitals with emergency departments are required to report all cases of opioid poisonings in the emergency department within one week of the occurrence. These reports are summarized on a weekly basis by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. In December of 2018, there were 38 opioid poisoning emergency department visits at hospitals in Simcoe Muskoka, which was down substantially from November which saw 66 visits to Simcoe Muskoka hospitals. These These data are considered preliminary and are subject to change.

Suspected overdose emergency department visits are also being tracked by the health unit and reported on a weekly basis in this syndromic surveillance report. These are not confirmed opioid overdoses; however, increases in suspected overdose visits can be an early warning for surges in opioid-related overdoses.


By Year

In 2018, there were nearly 600 emergency department visits for opioid poisonings among Simcoe Muskoka residents, which represents more than a 30% increase over the previous year.

The crude rate for opioid poisoning emergency visits in Simcoe Muskoka for all ages and sexes in 2018 was 102.5 (94.4, 111.2) visits per 100,000 population, which was significantly higher than the Ontario rate of 61.8 (60.5, 63.1) visits per 100,000 population.

Opioid poisoning emergency department visits rates in Simcoe Muskoka have more than doubled when compared to what was observed between 2010 and 2014 and more than tripled when compared to the rates between 2004 and 2008. The Simcoe Muskoka rates have been significantly higher than the comparable provincial rates since 2004.


By Age & Sex

Emergency visits for opioid poisonings is highest among younger adults between the ages of 25 and 44 years. The age-specific rates for opioid poisoning emergency visits in 2017 in Simcoe Muskoka were significantly higher than the provincial rates for all age groups among the population 15 to 64 years of age.


In 2017, the crude opioid poisoning emergency visit rate among Simcoe Muskoka males was 92.5 (81.6, 104.5) per 100,000, which was significantly higher than the female rate of 62.0 (53.2, 71.9) per 100,000. 2017 was the first year that opioid poisoning emergency department visits differed significantly by sex in Simcoe Muskoka. The Simcoe Muskoka rates were significantly higher than the comparable provincial rates for both males and females in 2017.

The opioid poisoning emergency visit rates among both Simcoe Muskoka females and males increased significantly over the 15-year time period from 2003 to 2017; however, the rates rose more sharply for males in 2017 when compared with females. The 2017 male rate was four-times higher than the rates from 2003 to 2008 and nearly triple the rate from 2009 to 2014. The 2017 female rate was double the rates from 2003 to 2014.


In 2017, significantly more adult males in Simcoe Muskoka between the ages of 15 and 44 visited the emergency department for an opioid poisoning when compared with females of the same age.


By Income

For the time period from 2013 to 2016 (combined) in Simcoe Muskoka, emergency visits for opioid poisonings increased significantly in areas with a higher prevalence of low-income. Simcoe Muskoka residents living in areas with the highest prevalence of low-income have nearly four-times the rate of opioid poisoning emergency visits when compared with those living in areas with the lowest prevalence of low-income.