Overdoses from synthetic opioids like fentanyl are steeply rising in Connecticut and across the country. The 12-month period ending in April 2021 was the deadliest year yet, with U.S. overdose deaths reaching a record high of over 100,000, reports the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This represents a 29% jump from the previous year, with the biggest culprit in more than 75% of deaths being synthetic opioids, including fentanyl.
“It seems to me that there is no end in sight to the opioid crisis, and things are not getting better but getting worse. For the last 12 rolling months, overdoses are up about 13-14% in Connecticut and the same is true for fatal overdoses,” says Peter Canning, EMS Coordinator for UConn John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington. He helped develop the initial successful pilot program in the City of Hartford that led to the establishment of Connecticut’s Statewide Opioid Reporting Directive (SWORD).