August 29, 2017

CT drug overdoses could outpace 2016

Flickr Creative Commons | Dimitris Kalogeropoylos
Flickr Creative Commons | Dimitris Kalogeropoylos

The Connecticut Office of the State Medical Examiner says the total number of accidental drug deaths in the state is on pace to be higher this year.

There were 539 overdoses through the end of June. If that rate keeps pace, there could be 1,078 accidental deaths due to drug intoxication by the end of this year. That would be an increase of 18 percent over 2016.

Overdose deaths have been steadily rising since 2012, when they numbered 357.

Of the deaths so far in 2017, 322 have been attributed to the synthetic opioid fentanyl, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill said.

In response, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said fentanyl is the main culprit in the "complex crisis."

"To address this issue, we need full force of the federal government to help prevent the influx of fentanyl from abroad – particularly from countries like China," Malloy said.

Meanwhile, there were 275 heroin deaths in the first half of the year.

Read more

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