High Number of Opioid-Related Emergency Department Visits and Overdoses & Substance Use-Related Emergency Medical Service Calls

Windsor-Essex County

Date/Time/Approximate Location

August 30th, 2022

Windsor-Essex County


Event Description

The Opioid and Substance Use Notification System has identified an increase in the number of opioid-related Emergency Department (ED) visits and substance use-related Emergency Medical Service (EMS) calls inclusively between August 22nd and August 28th of 2022.

Over this seven-day consecutive period, there were a total of eight (8) opioid overdoses reported by Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH), six (6) of which involved fentanyl. Two (2) opioid non-overdoses were also reported by WRH during this same time period. These values exceed both our two and five-year historical averages for the current week in question. Alongside the ED visits, the system also identified seven consecutive days of substance use-related EMS calls over this time frame, for a total of twenty-one (21) calls received. As such, based on the information available, a public alert is warranted.

Partners involved in the WECOSS, including the WECHU, Windsor Regional Hospital, Essex Windsor-EMS, Erie Shores Healthcare, and Police Services, continue to monitor this increase and are working to understand more about these reported cases.


Please share this information widely. If you are aware of any linkages between these cases or other causes for these increases, please contact the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31st) – Call to Action

The number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths in Windsor-Essex County continues to rise each year. This is reflected in the number of community alerts that have been issued through the WECOSS’ Opioid and Substance Use Notification System in 2022 alone, with this Alert marking the sixth (6th) community alert that has been issued to the public this year. In recognition of tomorrow (August 31st) being International Overdose Awareness Day, we encourage community members to take collective action in spreading the message that overdose is preventable, and that there are steps that we can all take as a community to help prevent overdose:

  • Participate in the free Opioids and Naloxone Training offered by Pozitive Pathways Community Services tomorrow (August 31st) from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Get a free naloxone kit from a pharmacy or a community partner. Visit www.wecoss.ca to learn more about where to find a free kit.
  • Participate in National Drug Drop off Month this August by checking your medicine cabinets and returning any unused or expired medications to your pharmacy for safe disposal.
  • Visit the WECOSS website for signs and symptoms of opioid overdose and how to respond: How Can Overdose Be Prevented?


WECHU (Acute Care Enhanced Surveillance Application - ACES), Essex-Windsor EMS Overdose Notification System, Windsor Police Services