New Report Reveals Shocking Information About Opioids in Halton
A new report has revealed some very shocking information about opioids in the Halton Region.
The opioid monitoring May 2019 report was recently released, and it has revealed some shocking information regarding opioids in the region pertaining to paramedic service calls, emergency department visits, naloxone distribution and use, and opioid-related deaths.
The report also compared the region to the province of Ontario.
Here’s what the report found.
According to the report, in May of this year, Halton paramedics responded to 29 calls for suspect opioid overdoses. What may be even more shocking, however, is that between January 1 and May 31, 2019, paramedics have responded to 118 calls, which is higher than the same time period in 2018 by 54 calls.
The report broke things down even further by highlighting the number of calls in each municipality over the last 12 months. Over the past 12 months, paramedics have responded to 57 calls in Burlington, 75 calls in Oakville, 56 calls in Milton, and 20 calls in Halton Hills - with a total of 208 calls.
In addition, when it comes to emergency department visits, there were 14 visits by Halton residents to a department in the province for a confirmed opioid overdose last month. However, between January 1 and May 31, 2019, there were 61 visits by Halton residents which is lower by seven visits than the same time period last year (68 visits).
In total, 28 naloxone kits were distributed in May of 2019, 18 of which were distributed by the Halton harm reduction program, and 10 of which were distributed by community agencies in the region. On the other hand, according to the report, 13 administrations of naloxone by a first responder occurred in the same month. Eight of these were administered by Halton Region Paramedic Services, four were distributed by Halton Police, and one was administered by Oakville Fire.
The report also notes that there have been approximately 40 opioid-related deaths, among Halton residents, between January and December of 2018. This, according to the report, is the most recent time period for which data is available). However, it should be noted that of the 40 deaths in 2018, four are probable deaths that have not been confirmed yet.
“Over the past five years, the most deaths have occurred among people aged 25 to 44,” reads the report. “There have been more deaths among males than females in every year with sex information except 2015 (not shown).”
Lastly, as mentioned, the report compared the rate of emergency department visits, and rate of opioid-related deaths of Halton and Ontario.
“In 2017, the rate of emergency department visits for confirmed opioid overdose among residents of any age was 30 visits per 100,000 in Halton and 55 visits per 100,000 in Ontario,” notes the report. “From 2013 to 2017, the rate of opioid-related ED visits has increased in both Halton and Ontario.”
According to the report, in the same timeframe (2013 - 2017) the rate of emergency department visits, in relation to opioid overdoses, has consistently been higher in Ontario compared to Halton.
On a similar note, again in the same timeframe, the rate of opioid-related deaths has been consistently higher in Ontario compared to the region.
Are you surprised by these numbers?
Read the full report here.
Graphic is courtesy of the report.