© 2022 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Accidental drug overdoses are now a leading cause of death in Connecticut

fentanyl_aptomgannam_160522.jpg
Tom Gannam
/
AP

A spike in fentanyl use is a contributing factor to the rising number of fatal drug overdoses in Connecticut, according to the latest data from the state Department of Public Health.

Data also shows the opioid epidemic disproportionately impacts Black and Hispanic communities.

Black residents died of accidental drug overdoses at a rate of 70 per 100,000 people in 2021. That’s compared with nearly 49 per 100,000 people in 2020. The rate for Hispanic residents rose to almost 44 last year from 38 per 100,000 people the year before.

State health officials plan to increase access to the overdose reversal drug Narcan and create more outreach programs that lead to treatment referrals.

The state Public Health Committee may also consider approving a pilot program with overdose prevention centers, which provide people with addiction a safe location where medical personnel can monitor for symptoms of an overdose.

Earlier this summer, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) pushed for federal action against the spread of illegal drug purchases through social media apps.

Health officials linked the growing number of overdose deaths to counterfeit fentanyl-laced pills sold online.

Mike Lyle joined WSHU Public Radio in early 2021 as a News Anchor, and was brought on full time to cover Connecticut news. He is an anchor/reporter at New England Public Media, a journalist with the National Press Club, and a weekend/fill-in news anchor at WTIC News/Talk 1080.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content