CRISIS BY THE NUMBERS
In 2016, there were 297 opioid-related emergency department visits in Hamilton, which is a rate of 52.8 per 100,000 population. The Ontario rate was 31.7 per 100,000. In 2016, there were 52 deaths in Hamilton, a rate of 9.2 per 100,000, up from 46 deaths, or 8.3 per 100,000. In Ontario, there were 865 deaths, a rate of 6.2 per 100,000, and 728 in 2015, 5.3 per 100,000. In 2013, fentanyl was present in five Hamilton deaths out of 41 opioid-related fatalities, or 12.2 per cent. Last year, fentanyl was present in 21 deaths out of 52, or 40.4 per cent.
In September, the Canadian Institute for Health Information said there were more than 2,800 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada. Preliminary data from the first quarter of 2017 suggests total deaths will be at least 3,000.
Sources: Ontario Public Health; Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses)