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Drug Overdose Deaths Continue To Climb In Connecticut

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Accidental drug deaths in Connecticut continue to surge, according to data released by Connecticut's Chief Medical Examiner.

The numbers are rising: in 2016, there were 917 overdose deaths, 25 percent more than the previous year.

Back in 2012, that number was 357.

In an email, Connecticut's Chief Medical Examiner James Gill said deaths involving the synthetic opioid fentanyl spiked dramatically, going from 14 in 2012 to 479 last year, which nearly surpassed the number of heroin deaths in 2016.

Connecticut's numbers follow a national trend. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths involving opioids -- including prescription drugs -- have more than quadrupled since 1999.

In the U.S. today, more than three out of five drug overdose deaths involve an opioid.

WNPR’s Opioid Addiction Crisis Reporting Initiative is supported by Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network’s MATCH Program.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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