Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Opioid Deaths

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

Monthly Surveillance

Preliminary data shows that there were 134 confirmed and probable opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2020, which was more than 60% higher than the average of 81 deaths from for the previous three years. From June 2020 to May of 2021 there were 155 confirmed and probable opioid deaths in Simcoe Muskoka, which was 57% higher than the 99 deaths from June 2019 to May 2020. This includes 23 deaths in March of 2021, the most in any month since the beginning of the opioid crisis in 2017.

In Ontario, there were 2,728 opioid deaths from June 2020 to May 2021, which is over 56% higher than the 1,623 deaths in the previous 12 months. Provincially, there have been over 200 deaths in 12 of the 15 months since the start of the pandemic, a threshold that was never reached once previously. These data are considered preliminary and subject to change.

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Trend over Time

In 2020, there were 134 opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka for a crude rate of 22.2 (18.4, 25.9) deaths per 100,000, which was significantly higher than the comparable provincial rate of 16.4 (5.7, 17.1) deaths per 100,000. Opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka were more than 50% higher in 2020 when compared with the average from the previous three years. The rate of opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka has been significantly higher than the provincial rates since 2017. 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. The Simcoe Muskoka rate had not changed significantly from 2017 to 2019 before increasing significantly in 2020. A similar sharp increase in opioid deaths in 2020 was observed for the province as a whole.

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By Geographic Area

Between 2017 and 2020, the crude rate of opioid-related deaths varied across Simcoe Muskoka. All areas in Simcoe Muskoka, other than South Simcoe, had opioid mortality rates significantly higher than the comparable provincial average. The opioid morality rate in South Simcoe was significantly lower than the overall provincial average and was less than half the rate for Simcoe Muskoka as a whole.

In 2020, Barrie accounted for nearly half of all opioid deaths in Simcoe County, while having 28.5% of the population. Orillia, Midland and Wasaga Beach also had a disproportionate number of opioid deaths relative to their population size.

This summary table provides the full breakdown of opioid deaths by Municipalities in Simcoe Muskoka from January, 2017 through to March, 2021.

OpioidDeathbyGeography

By Type of Drug

In 2020, there were 133 opioid poisoning deaths among Simcoe Muskoka residents, including 119 that were related to fentanyl. This means that 90% of all opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2020 involved fentanyl. This was 80% higher than the 66 fentanyl-related deaths in 2019 and was the highest number of fentanyl-related ever in one year in Simcoe Muskoka.

Please note that deaths may occur from a single opioid or from more than one opioid in combination. Therefore, the per cent of deaths by the specific opioids for a given time period may add to more than 100 per cent.

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By Age and Sex

Opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka are highest among adult males between 25 and 44 years of age. In 2020, there were 64 opioid poisoning deaths among adult males between the age of 25 and 44 years for a rate of 87.7 (67.5, 112.0) deaths per 100,000 and 32 deaths among males 45 to 64 years for a rate of 37.6 (25.7, 53.1) 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.

Page last updated September 27, 2021