Medical Examiner’s Office: Trending uptick in overdose deaths in New Haven

Opioid Crisis

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New statistics released from the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office reveal an uptick in overdose deaths in the Elm City.

In 2019, New Haven experienced some of the highest numbers in the state of loss of residents who died from accidental fatal overdoses. According to the CMEO report, 58 people died of accidental overdoses in the Elm City in 2019; that number is up from 41 in 2018.

According to the report, Hartford had the most deaths with 96 residents dying in 2019; that number up from 62 in 2018.

New Haven’s new mayor, Justin Elicker, calls the uptick concerning.

“This is something that people around the nation are struggling with right now.”

– New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker

City Health Officials tell News 8 they are working with the Elicker Administration to combat the issue that’s devastated the lives of countless families in Connecticut.

“Stigma is real and we want people to know that they are real people. We know they are addressed with this disease and we want to get them with the treatment and the care that is going to be equitable.”

– Martiza Bond, Director of Health for the City of New Haven

Mayor Elicker tells News 8 funding to help those with opioid use disorder is on the way.

RELATED: Connecticut REALTORS, iHeartMedia and WTNH News 8 Team Up to Help Combat Opioid Use Disorder in Connecticut

“We have about $500,000 in grants coming in to support issues around opioid use disorder, to do outreach efforts, and to reduce the stigmatization of that,” explained Mayor Elicker.

Other partners in the area, like the Retreat Behavioral Health Treatment Center, say they are here to help combat the crisis, too.

“Our doors are open. We are a private facility, but we have scholarship beds for people who don’t have the level of insurance that we take, so people should call us,” said Jacqueline James, Director of Public Relations.

RELATED: Bridge to recovery: some New Haven residents fear ‘harm reduction kits’ will enable drug users

Mayor Elicker tells News 8 the New Haven Police Department is set to give out “Harm Reduction Kits” to people at the New Haven Lock-Up if requested. The goal is to make sure people who are struggling with addiction have access to tools that may keep them safe and alive.

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