The opioid crisis in Ontario is a growing and evolving problem. Having accurate data on the impact of opioids helps us understand the extent of the opioid problem and provide timely warnings to those individuals at risk of overdose.

The Overdose Monitoring Alert and Response System (OMARS) provides local and timely information about overdose in Waterloo Region including the following indicators:

  • Overdose-related 911 calls to Paramedic Services, naloxone distribution and administration
  • Overdose deaths (suspected)
  • Opioid related visits to local emergency departments

Waterloo Region Overdose Monitoring Report

Overdose-related 911 calls is a proxy measure that shows the prevalence of overdose incidents locally. It is important to note that 911 is not called for all overdoses and therefore the data may underestimate the true number of overdoses in Waterloo Region. Naloxone administrations by Paramedic Services is also tracked and reported.

In the following dashboard, data sets can be viewed by changing the option under the 'View' menu on the left side of the graph:

 Waterloo Regional Police Service Data

Overdose related deaths are monitored by the Waterloo Region Police Service and represent a proxy measure to understand the impact of opioids locally. The number reported reflects suspected deaths as the cause of death has not been confirmed by the Office of the Provincial Coroner. Confirmation of cause of death can take up to 12 months.

Year

Number  

(running total)

2018

37*

(updated Oct. 1/18)

2017

85*

*this number includes suspected drug overdoses and is not limited to opioids.

Overdose Trends (long term)

Waterloo Region Overdose Bulletins are issued every quarter and monitor overdose trends over time. Reports provide a summary of 911 calls to paramedic services, data submitted to OMARS by individuals who have experienced an overdose, naloxone distribution data, and overdose-related deaths.

Overdose Alerts

Overdose Alerts are issued to the public when there is an urgent overdose risk in Waterloo Region. Alerts are issued to local agencies and the public based on various scenarios, including:

  • Confirmation of contamination of the local drug supply
  • Evidence of alarming trends in local substance use

 To receive overdose alerts, please subscribe to the Overdose Newsfeed and visit our Alert page.

Ontario’s Interactive Opioid Tool

Public Health Ontario (PHO) provides long-term trends for opioid-related data on emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths. This is the first tool in Ontario to provide data at the Public Health Unit and Local Health Integration Network levels.

Access Ontario’s Interactive Opioid Tool.

About OMARS

The OMARS committee is a partnership involving Waterloo Regional Police Services, Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services, Region of Waterloo Public Health, Sanguen Health Centre, and The Working Centre/St. John’s Kitchen. For more information, please check our OMARS Information Page.

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