Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Opioid ER Visits

Monthly Surveillance
By Year
By Sex
By Age Group
By Income

Monthly Surveillance

Effective April 1, 2017, all Ontario hospitals with emergency departments are required to report all cases of opioid overdose 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. During the most recent three months from April to June of 2018, there were 90 opioid overdose emergency visits at hospitals in Simcoe Muskoka and 81 opioid overdose emergency visits among Simcoe Muskoka patients visiting any hospital in Ontario. This was approximately half of what was observed during the summer of 2017 when opioid overdose emergency visits peaked.

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.

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By Year

In 2017, there over 400 emergency department visits for opioid poisonings among Simcoe Muskoka residents, which represents a 53 per cent increase over the previous year.  

The crude rate for opioid poisoning emergency visits in Simcoe Muskoka for all ages and sexes in 2017 was 73.4 (66.5, 80.8) visits per 100,000 population, which was significantly higher than the Ontario rate of 53.9 (52.7, 55.1) visits per 100,000 population.

Opioid poisoning emergency department visits rates in Simcoe Muskoka have doubled when compared to what was observed between 2010 and 2014 and tripled when compared to the rates between 2004 and 2008. The Ontario rates have seen a similar increase in recent years; however, the Simcoe Muskoka rates have been significantly higher than the comparable provincial rates since 2004.

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By Sex

In 2016, the age-standardized opioid poisoning emergency visit rate among Simcoe Muskoka males was 49.3 (41.3, 58.3) per 100,000, which was not significantly from the female rate of 48.1 (40.3, 57.0) per 100,000. The opioid poisoning emergency visit rates for both Ontario males and females were significantly lower than the comparable Simcoe Muskoka rates in 2016.

The opioid poisoning emergency visit rates among both Simcoe Muskoka females and males increased significantly from 2003 to 2016. The male and female opioid poisoning emergency visit rates in Simcoe Muskoka did not differ significantly from each other over this entire 14-year period of time.

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By Age Group

Emergency visits for opioid poisonings is highest among younger adults. The age-specific rates for opioid poisoning emergency visits between 2012 and 2016 (combined) in Simcoe Muskoka were significantly higher than the provincial rates among for all age groups among the population 15 years and older.

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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.

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