Alert issued after Windsor-Essex sees 10 opioid overdoses in a week

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Kits containing naloxone, which reverses an opioid overdose, are seen in a file photo. (Christine Rankin - image credit)
Kits containing naloxone, which reverses an opioid overdose, are seen in a file photo. (Christine Rankin - image credit)

Health officials in Windsor-Essex are warning of a recent uptick in hospitalizations and ambulance calls due to opioid overdoses.

The increase was observed between Sept. 8 and Sept. 14, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said in a media release Thursday.

Ten overdoses were reported between Windsor Regional Hospital and Erie Shores HealthCare in Leamington. Nine of the overdoses involved fentanyl, and one involved heroin.

There were also two fentanyl-related emergency room visits that were not overdoses, and eight EMS overdose notifications between Sept. 12 and 14.

"Historically, this is higher than what we had observed during our two and five year averages for Week 37 of the calendar year, with these indicators exceeding our expected thresholds for an alert," the health unit said.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, the outgoing medical officer of health for Windsor and Essex County, has previously said that the pandemic has impacted those with substance use and mental health problems more severely.

The region saw a record 348 overdoses last year, and 64 people died.

The public health unit is in the process of setting up a supervised consumption and treatment site.

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