Report: Opioids lead to increase in accidental drug deaths in CT for 2019

Opioid Crisis

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Accidental drug overdose deaths have increased in 2019 mostly due to opioids, according to a report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

On Friday, the Chief Medical Examiner James Gill, M.D., released the fatal accidental drug intoxication totals from last year and broke down the data.

According to the report, the total number of accidental intoxication deaths in 2019 has increased by 18%, compared to 2018.

Overall, the data found that 94% of the accidental deaths involved opioids.

Increased deaths continued to be with fentanyl, with a 29% increase, and cocaine, with a 34% increase. However, of the deaths with cocaine, 85% involved fentanyl.

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The ages for deaths involving opioids ranged from 17 to 74-years-old, with the average age being 43.

Additionally, a veterinary tranquilizer, called Xylazine, was detected in 71 fentanyl deaths.

But those numbers are just a snapshot of the issue. Leaders and organizations across the state are working to bring those numbers down.

“We have 125 residents at any given time,” said Marilyn Rossetti with The Open Hearth. “We have had plumbers, we have had electricians, we’ve had a lawyer, we have Dartmouth graduates, we have many graduates, we’ve had people not graduate, but hat’s why I’m trying to stress.”

Rossetti said opioids are the hardest to recover from.

“It’s difficult; it’s hard and it’s not a one-off,” she said. “You don’t just say ‘I’m recovered now.’ It is forever, and people have to stay on it.”

While 1,200 is a huge statistic, it could be double or even triple that without Narcan. There are no numbers on how many lives have been saved.

“We use Narcan, we use it often sometimes on a regular basis because everyone is trained and they carry it. The bigger thing is it saves lives.”

For more details on drug deaths, click here.

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