Opioid information highlights
Hamilton Public Health Services is collaborating with Hamilton Paramedic Services, Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and community partners to provide timely opioid-related information to the public.
911 calls for Opioid overdoses
Between January 10, 2017 and July 17, 2017, Hamilton Paramedic Services responded to 174 calls related to opioid overdoses. Most opioid overdose cases (72%) were male, and the average age of cases was 35 years.
Since January 10, 2017, Hamilton Paramedic Services has implemented a new way to better track 911 calls where opioid overdose was suspected to occur. This figure shows the monthly number of paramedic responses related to opioid overdose in Hamilton since January 10, 2017.
Monthly opioid-related 911 calls in Hamilton, Ontario
Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose. Since January 2017, 765 naloxone kits were distributed by Public Health Services, and at least 169 people have been revived.
In 2016, Hamilton Public Health Services distributed a total of 462 naloxone kits, and 192 people were reported as being revived by the kits. This year, 672 kits have been distributed to date.
Naloxone kits distributed & number of people revived, Hamilton PHS
Emergency department visits
Visits for general overdoses and drug misuse: In the past week (July 10 to July 16, 2017), 54 patients sought care at Hamilton emergency departments for drug misuse or overdoses. This includes overdoses caused by drugs other than opioids.
Visits for opioid poisoning: In April 2017, there were 47 emergency department visits for opioid poisoning at Hamilton hospitals.
Emergency department visits for overdoses and drug misuse
Over the past six months, the number of general overdose emergency department visits has been stable.
Weekly emergency department visits for overdoses or drug misuse in Hamilton hospitals
Emergency department visits for Opioid poisoning
Between October 2016 and March 2017, Hamilton hospitals have seen a sustained increase in opioid poisoning emergency department visits compared to previous months. In March 2017, the latest month of available data, there were 48 emergency department visits at these facilities due to opioid poisoning. This was the highest number of monthly visits in the past two years.
For more information about opioid-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations among Ontario and Hamilton residents, view the Public Health Ontario's Interactive Opioid Tool. Note that the number of emergency department visits on the tool for Hamilton count the visits among Hamilton residents, while the numbers on this page count the number of patients visiting Hamilton hospitals.
Monthly opioid poisoning visits, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare
Opioid-related deaths are increasing annually in Hamilton.
Preliminary numbers from the Office of the Chief Coroner indicate that in the first half of 2016, 24 Hamilton residents died from opioid toxicity. Fourty-six Hamiltonians had opioid-related deaths in 2015, which was the highest yearly number of deaths compared to the previous 10 years.
Opioid-related deaths in Hamilton
Between 2005 and 2015, Hamilton had a higher rate of opioid-related deaths when compared to the provincial average. In 2015, Hamilton's death rate was 57% higher than Ontario's.
For more information about opioid-related deaths in Ontario, view the Public Health Ontario's Interactive Opioid Tool.
Opioid-related death rates, Hamilton and Ontario
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Epidemiology & Evaluation
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