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

Windsor-Essex County

Date/Time/Approximate Location

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

Windsor & Essex County


Event Description

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s 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 September 26th and October 2nd of 2022.

Over this seven-day consecutive period, the system flagged a total of fourteen (14) opioid overdoses, eight (8) of which involved fentanyl. These values exceed our five-year historical average for the current week in question by more than two standard deviations above the mean. Alongside the ED visits, the system also flagged seven (7) consecutive days of substance use-related EMS calls between September 26th and October 2nd, over half of which included three (3) calls per day. In total, there were fourteen (14) substance use-related EMS calls received over the seven-day consecutive period.

Together, the fourteen (14) opioid overdoses combined with the seven (7) consecutive days of substance use-related EMS calls are values that warrant a public alert.

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 with clients and relevant partners. If you are aware of any linkages between these cases or other causes for these increases, please contact the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

For signs and symptoms of opioid overdose and what to do, visit the WECOSS website: How Can Overdose Be Prevented?


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