Yale University

Accidental drug-related deaths rise

By the end of this month, the Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner's Office expects that the number of accidental drug-induced intoxication deaths to rise by 22 percent from last year's rate.

The number of deaths due to accidental drug overdose is expected to rise from 558 deaths last year to 679 by the end of this year, and the number of accidental heroin-related deaths is expected to increase from 325 last year to a projected 387. Between January and September this year, there were 290 heroin-related deaths in Connecticut, and deaths related to other pharmaceutical opioids are also on the rise. The state expects a 95 percent increase in accidental fentanyl-related deaths by the end of the year. The chief medical examiner and professors at the School of Public Health agree that the increase in heroin-related deaths in Connecticut is noteworthy. But different approaches to data collection raise questions about which substances pose the largest problem for Connecticut.

Published: Sunday, December 6, 2015