LITCHFIELD COUNTY, Conn. (WTNH) — The Litchfield County Opiate Task Force said Monday that Litchfield County is continuing to experience a spike in overdoses.

This means first responders have reported more than three fatal or non-fatal overdoses to poison control in a 24-hour period, according to the task force, which provides Narcan and other resources to members of the community.

Manny Barreto, a case manager at the McCall Center for Behavioral Health, knows the pain and guilt associated with an opioid use disorder. Seven years in his recovery, he uses that experience to help others overcome their addiction.

“I know the fear and anxiety that comes with it and the absolute suffering that I experienced in those times,” Barreto said. “Being a person in recovery now, there is hope that I would have never been able to comprehend prior to living the life that I do.”

The McCall Center is a strong component of the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force.

The task force reported 12 overdoses since June 28. Two were fatal.

“What we see periodically is a surge, medically stabilize individuals and then right away we wrap around to them case managers,” said Tom Narducci, administrative director of behavioral health at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.

Since 2015, unintentional overdose deaths have been on the rise in Connecticut and across the country.

But the numbers in Connecticut have improved this year. The 72 overdose deaths in April is a sharp decline from the 120 in March.

According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, there have been 423 confirmed fatal overdoses from January until the second week of May. 86% of cases involved fentanyl and 30% involved xylazine, an animal tranquillizer.

The Litchfield Task Force wants their community to know help is available.

“It’s a really courageous act to say ‘I’m struggling’ and there are teams of people who are ready to be able to walk right alongside of you,” said Maria Coutant Skinner, CEO of the McCall Center for Behavioral Health.

Those struggling with an opioid use disorder can visit the McCall mobile van or access one of the harm reduction locations, which are listed in the table below.

Harm Reduction Locations

DateTimeTownLocationProvider
Mondays11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.WinstedOpen Door Soup Kitchen, on St James Pl.APEX
Tuesdays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.TorringtonSoup Kitchen on Maiden LaneROVER
Tuesdays1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.North CanaanMunicipal lot on Railroad Street ROVER
Wednesdays10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.TorringtonFussenich Park behind the Armory ROVER
Thursdays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.TorringtonSoup Kitchen on Maiden Lane ROVER
Thursdays5 p.m. to 6 p.m.WaterburyMoon Mart, 229 Whitewood Rd. ROVER
Fridays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.WinstedOpen Door Soup Kitchen, on St James Place ROVER
FridaysNoon to 1 p.m.TorringtonCorner of Main & Alvord streets ROVER

If you cannot make it to one of the regular sites, you can call the Addiction Resource Line at (860) 256-8111 to be connected with staff who can help you find other harm reduction services.

The task force also has a new system that allows people to receive a text alert when an overdose spike happens. It intends to inform those at risk for overdose, family members, and community members of higher-risk times on how to access support nearby.

To sign up for the alert system, text SPIKE at (860) 200-3511. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call the Litchfield County Addiction Resource line at (860) 256-8111, or visit the county’s Resource Database online.