A study has found opioids are responsible for hundreds of deaths in the province, at a rate of about 1 death per 20,000 residents.
The Ontario Drug Policy Research Network released results of the study on Thursday, which found that 638 people died in Ontario in 2013 from overdoses of the potent and addictive drugs, which include oxycodone, hydromorphone and fentanyl. Roughly 13% of those deaths were deemed suicides.
Lead researcher Tara Gomes says the Thunder Bay District and Timiskaming District had the highest rates of opioid-related deaths in the province at roughly four times the provincial average.
In 2014, there were 3,200 opioid-related ER visits in Ontario with about half those patients being admitted to hospital.