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Health

Fentanyl Deaths Continue To Rise in Connecticut

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Patrick Skahill
/
Connecticut Public Radio
The number of deaths involving fentanyl continue to increase while the number of heroin-related deaths decrease.

While the total number of people who died from any overdose in 2018 is slightly down from the year before, fentanyl showed up in more than 75 percent of deaths—making it more common than heroin.

Dr. James Gill, the state’s chief medical examiner, released updated overdose data Friday. It showed that 1,017 people died from accidental drug intoxication last year.

For the last two years, the number of deaths involving fentanyl has risen while the number of deaths containing heroin continued to decrease.

Fentanyl, which is similar to morphine, but is 50 to 100 times more potent, has been outpacing heroin for the last two years.

The presence of fentanyl has significantly grown in the last seven years in Connecticut. The synthetic opioid only showed up in about 4 percent of all drug overdose deaths in 2012.

Opioids, which is a class of drugs that includes heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain relievers, continue to lead the addiction epidemic, state and national reports show.

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl are now the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths in the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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