Medical Examiner releases first half year drug death data for Conn.

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(WTNH) — The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has just released the accidental drug intoxication deaths in Connecticut for the first half of 2016.

The total number of accidental intoxication deaths for the first half of 2016 (January 1 to June 30) is 444. Officials project this number to rise to 888 by the end of the year, passing the 729 total number of deaths in 2015.

The number of deaths involving fentanyl has continued to increase. In 2012, the number of deaths involving fentanyl was 14. In 2015, 188 of accidental drug intoxication deaths involved fentanyl. That number has already been surpassed in the first half of 2016, with 223 deaths.

Heroin-related and cocaine-related deaths have also increased. Officials say some of the increases in the heroin and cocaine deaths may be related to fentanyl, as many of the heroin and cocaine deaths also involved fentanyl. There have been 244 heroin-related deaths in the first half of 2016, compared to a total of 174 in 2012, 258 in 2013, 327 in 2014 and 416 in 2015. The number is projected to rise to 488 total heroin-related deaths by the end of 2016.

Officials also outlined the number of deaths from combining opioids and benzodiazepines, drugs such as Valium and Xanax, have increased over the past 4 years, rising from 41 in 2012, to 112 in the first half of 2016.

Of the towns where drug intoxication deaths occurred, the most happened in Hartford (46), New Haven (45), Bridgeport (38), Waterbury (34) and New Britain (20).

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