Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Opioid Emergency Department Visits

Monthly Surveillance
By Year
By Age & Sex
By Material Deprivation

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 October of 2021 there were 60 opioid poisoning emergency department visits at hospitals in Simcoe Muskoka, which was similar to what was reported in the previous two months and higher than what was observed in October of 2020. So far in 2021 opioid poisoning emergency department visits are higher than the comparable period from 2020, mainly due to a sharp increase in visits over the summer months.

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 2020, there were over 650 emergency department visits for opioid poisonings among Simcoe Muskoka residents, which was slightly higher than what was observed the previous year.

The crude rate for opioid poisoning emergency visits in Simcoe Muskoka for all ages and sexes in 2020 was 108.2 (100.1, 116.8) visits per 100,000 population, which was significantly higher than the Ontario rate of 84.9 (83.4, 86.4) visits per 100,000 population.

Opioid poisoning emergency department visits rates in Simcoe Muskoka have more than tripled when compared to what was observed between 2010 and 2014 and more than quadrupled 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 adults between the ages of 25 and 44 years. The age-specific rates for opioid poisoning emergency visits in 2020 in Simcoe Muskoka were significantly higher than the provincial rates for all age groups among the population 25 to 64 years of age.


In 2020, the crude opioid poisoning emergency visit rate among Simcoe Muskoka males was 140.5 (127.3, 154.7) per 100,000, which was significantly higher than the female rate of 81.0 (71.1, 91.9) per 100,000. The Simcoe Muskoka rates were significantly higher than the comparable provincial rates for both males and females in 2020.

The opioid poisoning emergency visit rates among both Simcoe Muskoka males and females followed the same increasing trend from 2003 to 2016; however, in 2017 the male rate increased significantly more than did the female rate. The rate among males continues to increase annually; whereas, the rate among females has remained relatively stable since 2018.


In 2020, significantly more adult males in Simcoe Muskoka between the ages of 25 and 64 visited the emergency department for an opioid poisoning when compared with females of the same age.


By Material Deprivation

In 2020 in Simcoe Muskoka, emergency visits for opioid poisonings were highest among those living in areas with the highest amount of material deprivation (as measured by the 2016 Ontario Marginalization Index).


Page last updated January 18, 2022