Health Unit Concerned with Growing Number of Opioid Related Overdoses

AM800-NEWS-opioids-istock

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is asking the public not to lose sight of another public health crisis, opioid use and overdoses.

"In May there were 33 confirmed opioid related overdoses sent to the emergency department in Windsor-Essex," says Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed.  "Since the beginning of June up until June 21, we have had 21 confirmed opioid related overdoses to the emergency department."

Dr. Ahmed says in some cases naloxone kits are used and the individual is not rushed to the emergency department.

"When people or individuals experience overdose and a naloxone kit was used to revert them and we have heard from our partners that the number is increasing where some of the family, friends or agencies had to use naloxone so I think that's definitely something concerning," he says.

According to Dr. Ahmed, cases where naloxone is used aren’t included in the statistics of overdose cases.

"Drug related emergency department visits for the first quarter of 2020, that's from January to March, we're higher to the same timeline compared to 2018 and 2019," says Dr. Ahmed.  "This information does not capture the number of people who utilize the naloxone kit and did not call 911."       

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says opioid use and overdoses continues to be a growing public health concern and he doesn’t want the public to forget that during the COVID-19 pandemic.