Windsor-Essex County is the southernmost county in Canada and consists of one metropolitan area (The City of Windsor) and the seven municipalities of Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, LaSalle, and Leamington. The majority of the population is located in the City of Windsor. Local data related to overdose-related ED visits, hospitalizations and death pinpoint the downtown core of Windsor with the highest rates of opioid overdose. In addition to the downtown of Windsor, the Leamington downtown is also identified with high rates of opioid related harms. Given that the impact of opioid related harms is concentrated in these two downtown areas they present the greatest opportunity to reduce the overall opioid overdose burden in Windsor-Essex.
The rate of opioid users in Windsor-Essex is the 7th highest in the province. In addition, a recent report (Health Quality Ontario, 2017) describes the Erie-St. Clair LHIN region (in which Windsor-Essex County resides) as having the highest rate of opioid prescriptions in the province. Opioid-related emergency department visits have increased by 3.6 times since 2003. Opioid related deaths in the City of Windsor are significantly greater than the rest of the county, with 19 out of 24 deaths county-wide occurring in the City in 2015. Based on the morbidity and mortality data in this region, the burden of illness for opioid misuse is disproportionately greater among the working-age (20-64 years-old) population (primarily males) in the City of Windsor (Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, 2017).