WINDSOR -- Staggering figures from Public Health Ontario about the opioid crisis in Windsor-Essex.

New data shows there have been 22 opioid-related deaths in the region in the first three months of 2019.

That is double the number of people who died in the first quarter last year.

Public Health Ontario has also increased the number of opioid-related deaths in 2018 in Windsor-Essex. The initial report had 48 deaths. That number is now 51, including 10 opioid-related deaths in the month of November.

Officials say the numbers could still change as more autopsies are completed.

In 2017, there were 36 opioid-related deaths in Windsor-Essex.

The Chatham-Kent Health Unit reports four opioid-related deaths in 2018, down from five deaths in 2017.

The newly released provincial data also show that 1,473 Ontarians died from opioid overdoses last year, a jump of about 17 per cent from 2017.

The new data also shows a spike of 2,973 emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses during the first three months of 2019.

Public Health Ontario also reports the number of people who are prescribed opioids for pain management is highest in the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network.

Stats show 148 people per 1,000 in the region were prescribed opioids in 2018, higher than any other LHIN in Ontario.

The number of emergency department visits due to opioids in Windsor-Essex in 2018 totalled 216 -- and there were 72 hospitalizations.

In Chatham-Kent in 2018, there were 70 ED visits and 19 hospitalizations.