There are some startling numbers about how many people in Windsor-Essex are dependent on the highly potent and addictive opioids.

Compared to 49 other counties in Ontario, a study has found Windsor-Essex has the seventh highest number of opioid users.

Almost 28,000 people used Ontario's drug plan last year to treat their pain with drugs like fentanyl, codene and morphine.

The co-ordinator of the addictions program at Hotel Dieu Grace Health Care isn't surprised by the numbers. Shawn Rumble says 630 people with opiate addictions sought their help last year.

Rumble tells CTV News the study is “a call for action.”

Tara Gomes has been studying opiod use in Ontario. She found opiates form about 20 per cent of prescriptions across the province.

In Windsor-Essex, that rate is 24 per cent, and most of the use is for less potent drugs like Tylenol 3.

But Gomes is still concerned, because her study found 30 people in Windsor-Essex died from an overdose in 2013.

Dr. Abhimanyu Sud is a Director of a program for safe opioid prescribing. He says new legislation would help address the issue, in terms of controlling the amount and types of medications that are prescribed.

But Dr. Sud believes the province must also find and cover the cost for alternative therapies to reduce opiod use.