Opioid use, Hepatitis C rates on the rise across Haldimand-Norfolk

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hepatitis C rates and opioid use are higher in Haldimand-Norfolk than almost anywhere else in the province, say local health unit officials.

"In 2015, Haldimand-Norfolk had the highest percentage of individuals taking high-strength opioids when compared to all other municipalities in Ontario," public health nurse Tamara Robb recently told Haldimand County councillors.

What's also concerning, Robb said, is that in January, the province delisted some high-strength opioids from drug benefit programs, which means some people "may look elsewhere, including illicit street drugs, to get the pain management they need."

Haldimand County EMS responded to 56 overdose calls in 2015 and 46 in 2016. From January to May of this year, paramedics had responded to 16.

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