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Authorities Dealing With Spike In Opioid Use

Posted: 2018-07-17 07:24:21 By: hbr

Opioid deaths have skyrocketed in Simcoe Muskoka over the past two years.

According to the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit, the number of opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka has jumped by more than 70 per cent in the past two years. In 2016 there were 46 opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka. In 2017 that number rose to 78.

The good news, according to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, is that the situation is much better in Muskoka than it is with our neighbours to the south in Simcoe County.

On Monday evening, Health Unit officials and members of the OPP paid a visit to District council to discuss the issue and what they're doing to address it.

The rate of visits to the emergency room due to opioid poisoning in Simcoe Muskoka is also well ahead of the provincial average. In Simcoe Muskoka the opioid poisoning rate was at 78.2 per every 100,000 people, while the Ontario-wide rate was 55.8. However, the rate in Muskoka alone is below the provincial average at 38.4.

Health Unit officials said the biggest problem areas are in Orillia, Barrie and Midland.

The Health Unit also went over the history of the problem in the area, and what their next steps are to help combat the crisis.

They include education, both of the general public and of health care providers, treatment and prevention.

Members of the OPP also spoke about the growing problem of fentanyl and the steps law enforcement are taking to combat the opioid crisis in Muskoka.