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The OPHS states that boards of health shall use local data to inform public health interventions specific to substance use and injuries.

This includes collaboration with local stakeholders and prioritization of interventions based on local needs. The OPHS also requires the enforcement of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, based on both the Tobacco Protocol (2018) and the Electronic Cigarettes Protocol (2018). Local priorities related to substance use involve a focus on smoking cessation and enforcement; as well as, alcohol, opioid, and methamphetamine consumption. Local priorities related to injuries include falls and land transportation collisions.

Local public health interventions to address these priorities involve a comprehensive health promotion model that includes: public education and awareness, policy and supportive environments, and direct services.

Some examples of data related to the local priorities include:

  • Alcohol-related health outcomes were the most common cause of substance-use related Emergency Department (ED) visits, amounting to 2271 visits in 2017. Alcohol-related ED visits rates rose by 200% between 2007 and 2017.
  • Opioid-related health outcomes were the second most common cause of substance related ED visits in 2017, at a rate of 143.2 visits per 100,000 population. Opioid-related ED visit rates have increased by 200% from 2007-2017.
  • In 2018, 48 people died in Windsor and Essex County from opioid-related causes— a 33 per cent increase from 2017.
  • In 2017, the rate of methamphetamine-related ED visits were more than three-times higher in WEC compared to the province (98.2 vs. 31.3 ED visits per 100,000 residents). From 2015 to 2017, the rate of methamphetamine ED visits has increased by 242%.
  • Falls accounted for 33% of all injury-related ED visits in WEC in 2017. Approximately, 56% of all injury-related hospitalizations in 2017 were due to falls.
  • Land transportation collisions accounted for 9% of all injuries experienced in WEC in 2017. In 2017 there were 662.1 ED visits per 100,000 population in WEC.