(WTNH) — The opioid crisis is taking its’ grip nationally, as well as rising locally in Connecticut.

Opioids are classified as painkillers; including those available legally by prescription like oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine and morphine. There are also illegal opioids, like heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

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Fentanyl has been the largest problem when it comes to the opiod crisis. This drug is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine.

In Connecticut, 94% of accidental deaths had fentanyl in their system. Hartford saw a strong of overdoses that have been believed to be associated with crack cocaine and pills that were laced with fentanyl in June 2019. Counterfeit pills and heroin are more likely to have fentanyl in them.

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Prescription opioids are the largest pharmaceutical market in the world and there is a misperception that prescription opiods are “safe” because they’re prescribed. In Connecticut, over 2 million prescriptions for opiods were written in 2018.

Help and recovery is possible. The LiveLOUD (Life with Opioid Use Disorder) campaign is aimed at individuals who are actively using heroin or misusing prescription opioids, as well as their loved ones.

Federal Grants have provided the state with $11 million for two years to provide:

  • Assistance in regards to education and awareness
  • Naloxone (Narcan) distribution and training
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Recovery Coaches in EDs in 14 Connecticut hospitals
  • Mobile Employment Services
  • Justice-Related Services and Supports

Visit www.liveloud.org for information or call the 24/7 AccessLine at 1-800-563-4086.