WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit released more details surrounding opioid-use across our region.

Since 2016, there has been a significant increase in cases and deaths.

“The pandemic is really taking a toll on everyone,” says Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health, of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. “It’s something that is troubling us and we are trying to work with our partners to find better ways to create awareness."

In 2020, there were 350 cases and 64 deaths reported. Of those, 97.9 per cent of deaths were found to be accidental while 53.2 per cent of deaths affected users between the ages of 25 and 44.

There were 48 deaths reported in 2019 and 37 deaths reported in 2017. The top opioid seen in these deaths were Fentanyl.

Dr. Ahmed says 73.9 percent of users died in their home with 52.2 per cent were home alone.

As of May 2021, the Windsor-Essex County Opioid Substance Strategy issued seven opioid-related alerts.

“It’s concerning. We may likely see more alerts coming out this year,” adds Ahmed.