Drug-Related Deaths and Overdoses in Connecticut

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
Drug-Related Deaths and Overdoses in Connecticut

Drug Addiction Epidemic in Connecticut

In Connecticut, residents are more likely to die from an unintentional drug overdose than a motor vehicle accident. The majority of these deaths are linked to overdose of prescription opioid painkillers and illicit opioids.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), In Connecticut, opioid-involved overdose deaths remained steady from 2017 to 2018.
The abuse of prescription medication and opioid-based drugs has increased significantly over the years to become a public health concern in Connecticut. This misuse or abuse includes taking these medications in higher doses than prescribed, for a purpose other than that for which it was prescribed, or taking a medication that was prescribed for another person or obtained off the streets. Opioid overdose is often characterized by a decrease in breathing rate which if not quickly addressed leads to death.
But fatal drug overdoses jumped in the first half of 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic added stress, forced those struggling with addiction into isolation. About 647 people died from a drug overdose in the first six months of the year, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. It’s a jump of nearly 18% from the same time last year.
A majority of deaths involved the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is 100 times more potent than morphine. Data shows that usage of that drug — intentionally and accidentally — is on the rise.

Finding Addiction Help for Connecticut Residents

There remain a number of open and unfilled spots in detoxes and other treatment programs. Partly because people have become more reluctant to come to hospital emergency departments or enter inpatient treatment programs while the pandemic is ongoing. But it doesn’t erase the fact that just as many people, if not more, may need treatment and support services right now. Especially right now because the way we once have been coping with stress and anxiety who may have gotten themselves into recovery from substance, those things are removed; the therapist may be removed, maybe the AA group or the NA group we were going to doesn’t meet in person anymore. We need to get back to helping each other in order to save lives.


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