To help understand the opioid overdose epidemic that is affecting our families and the communities we live in, below are a few national statistics and a description of how Connecticut mental health and addiction service groups are educating and assisting residents.
Statistics show that from 1999-2016, more than 350,000 people have died from an overdose involving prescription and illicit opioids.
- First wave began with the increased prescribing of opioids (i.e., OxyContin, Vicodin) in the 1990s
- Second wave began in 2010, with the increased use of heroin
- Third wave began in 2013, with the increase of synthetic opioids, particularly manufactured fentanyl
In Connecticut, drug overdose deaths in the state have almost tripled over six years, from 357 in 2012 to 1,038 in 2017, due to the rise in fentanyl-related incidents. State addiction and substance abuse treatment providers have been implementing a series of initiatives to help fight this epidemic. Education and prevention programs include: Medical Assisted Treatment programs (MAT), distribution of Naloxone/Narcan to reverse overdoses, “Change the Script” campaign for healthcare providers, and other initiatives aimed at helping individuals overcome substance use issues.
- Visit the CT Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS) for information on these important services.
- Fact sheet on “What You Need to Know about Prescription Opioids”, can be found here.
If you or a family member are struggling with addiction, call the CT DMHAS - 24/7 Access Line at 1-800-563-4086 or dial 2-1-1 for help.
SOURCES: CT Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS); CT Office of Chief Medical Examiner; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html.