Windsor-Essex officials issue first opioid warning of the year after 13 overdoses in a week

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is pictured in this file photo. On Tuesday, the Windsor-Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy sent an alert that 13 overdoses were recorded in a week. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC - image credit)
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is pictured in this file photo. On Tuesday, the Windsor-Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy sent an alert that 13 overdoses were recorded in a week. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC - image credit)

Health officials in Windsor-Essex have issued an alert about a recent spike in opioid overdoses — the first alert of 2023.

The Windsor-Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy (WECOSS) says there were 13 opioid overdoses recorded between Dec. 29, 2022, and Jan. 4.

On one of those days – Jan. 4 – there were 10 emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses.

WECOSS says eight of the overdoses that week involved fentanyl.

The overdose tracking system also reported 18 paramedic calls for a suspected opioid overdose over the same time period.

WECOSS is encouraging those who use opioids to carry a naloxone kit and never use alone.

 

In total, 86 people died from opioid overdoses in 2021, the most recent year data is available.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit plans to open a supervised consumption site for opioid users at 101 Wyandotte St. E., pending government approval.

That application remains under review, but WECHU anticipates the site could open sooner than later.

"We anticipate we will receive final approval from the federal government in the coming weeks following the completion of the renovation and site inspection," a spokesperson for the WECHU told CBC News in an email last week.