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Opioid misuse and overdose are important public health issues in Ontario and across Canada.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a family of drugs that are used to relieve pain. Opioids can also produce a sense of euphoria (a high), which may lead people to use them improperly. There are prescriptions opioids like codeine, fentanyl, morphine, and methadone and illegally produced opioids like “bootleg” fentanyl.

What is an Overdose?

An overdose can happen when someone uses opioids improperly or in the wrong dosage. Due to the impact opioids have on the portion of the brain that controls breathing, opioid use in higher dosages may lead to difficulty breathing, overdose, and death. All opioids (prescription and non-prescription) have a risk of overdose.

What is Naloxone?

If you or someone you care about is using opioids legally or illegally, it is important to have a Naloxone kit. Naloxone or Narcan® is a drug which can be used to reverse the effects of an overdose. For more information on where to get a kit, visit

How to Respond to an Overdose?

If you think someone is overdosing call 9-1-1.

An overdose is always an emergency. Even if someone has taken naloxone, as it can wear off before the person has completely recovered from their overdose.

Community Opioid Strategy

Strategy Consultation Document

Read the full Strategy Consultation Document here.

Community Consultation Events

The Leadership Committee is hosting 2 Community Consultation events:

  • Windsor: Downtown YMCA on October 17th
  • Leamington: Kinsmen Recreation Complex on October 18th.


Registration is required for both events.


For those unable to attend the community consultations, there is a survey available.

Video Resources

Videos reproduced with permission from the Government of Canada.

More information for Families and Educators:

Fentanyl Information Pamphlet for Parents and Caregivers: This resource for parents and caregivers was developed in partnership with the school boards and enforcement agencies in Windsor-Essex County.

Opioids: the facts, the dangers, problem signs, and getting help: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the School Mental Health ASSIST program have produced print resources about opioids for parents, educators, and youth.

Drug Free Kids Canada: A website with resources to support parents with tools they need to talk to their kids to prevent drug abuse by youth.

Opioid Misuse in Windsor-Essex County

Opioid Misuse Report

This report provides an overview of emergency department (ED) visits and admissions to acute care from emergency (hospitalizations), with one or more opioid−related diagnoses for Windsor-Essex County (WEC) residents in WEC hospitals. 

Read the report.

Local Strategy

Find out about what is happening in Windsor-Essex County to develop a local plan to prevent and reduce the harms associated with opioid use and overdose.