Heroin has replaced cocaine as the most prevalent drug in the recent years. In 2015, Connecticut had a total of 723 drug overdose deaths. The death toll related to prescription and illicit drug abuse has risen in the past few years. In 2012, 323 deaths due to drug overdose had been recorded. 86 of them were related to heroin.
Who are Most Affected by Opioid Abuse?
1. Race and Ethnicity
People from all walks of life may suffer from opioid dependence. From teenagers to the elderly suffer from the wreckage this drug problem brings. However, data shows that specific demography is more prone to opiate dependency than others.
In Connecticut, data of 1,912 overdose deaths between 2012 and 2015 found out that Caucasians were more prone to a higher rate of death due to the drug overdose. The ratio was 6.2 out of 10,000 residents. Hispanics and African Americans had 4 and 4.1 deaths per 10,000 residents respectively.
Dr. Daniel Tobin of Yale University saw affluence as a potential factor for the growing number of opioid abuse. Easy access to drugs boosts the risks of the drug abuse.
As drug overdose seems to know no age, 56% of opioid overdose concentrated in people aging over 40. Fair distributions of death among people aging 20 to 60 years old are prevalent.
Tobin pointed out that the potential of drug overdose increase as people age due to the accumulation of medicines in cabinets. There has been no statistically significant trend for death by age group. This factor means that all age group is vulnerable to the drug overdose.
In 2012-2015, overdose deaths were mostly related to heroin for people aging from 21 to 45. The drug was discovered in their bloodstream and was one of the primary culprits of those deaths. For ages 46 to 60, hydromorphone hydrocodone, and oxycodone were likely to be blamed.
3. Socio-Economic Status
The state medical examiner’s office suggests that significant trends for drug overdose and deaths are present in their data. Drug overdose affects people from all socioeconomic groups. Overdose from heroin is prevalent in the urban areas. Overdose from the combination of prescription heroin and pills more likely happens in the people residing in more affluent suburbs.
Where do Overdose Deaths Prevail the Most?
People in rural and urban areas are both affected by drug-related overdose especially opioid. The cities claim the most drug-related overdose deaths. However, people in rural areas are also statistically more likely to die.
Connecticut, Hartford, Newbury, and New Haven are towns that consistently have the most number of overdose deaths since 2012.
Heroin in Suburban Communities
Suburban communities in Connecticut face threats of heroin just as the urban ones. Because of the state’s location between New York and Boston, it’s become a common transit and destination area for drugs. The data suggests that New York City is the source of the 26% out-of-town overdose deaths in Connecticut. 11% of out-of-towners who overdose in Connecticut came from Massachusetts.
How it’s Getting There
Drug traffickers find the Interstate 95 has been a convenient roadway. It connects Boston to New York City. Access to the US-Canadian border is also present through the interstate 95. This route makes the communities along the border vulnerable to drug trafficking operations. The towns include Stamford, New Haven, Bridgeport and New London.
The Interstate 91 runs north via New Haven into Massachusetts and Vermont into Canada. These two interstates make up the New England Pipeline as what the enforcement officials call it.
Other Drugs Of Abuse Trends in Connecticut
As the opioid epidemic continues to plague Connecticut, it’s not the only drug problem that the state faces.
According to 2010 data, marijuana leads to the second primary cause of drug abuse treatment admissions. This situation is due to the accessibility of marijuana in Connecticut. The drug can be sold there at $5,000 per pound.
In 2004, federal authorities seized 20.89 kgs (45.9 lbs) of marijuana.
Crack is abused over powder. Columbian suppliers bring in cocaine hydrochloride using Jamaican traffickers. In 2004, 23 kgs (52.5 lbs) of cocaine was seized by the officials.
Deaths involving cocaine overdose remained relatively steady through the recent years. In 2012, 105 overdose deaths were recorded. 176 overdose deaths were recorded in 2015, according to the Chief Medical Examiner’s records.
3. Club Drugs
Ecstasy is widely used by teenagers and college students in Connecticut. The drug is distributed at nightclubs and on college campuses. Most criminal groups bring Ecstasy into Connecticut from Canada. It’s sold for $20-$30 per unit.
DEA seized 49 tablets in 2004.
What Are Officials Doing About It?
Connecticut has been pursuing state, local and federal key points to address the opioid epidemic. They’re expanding efforts to prevent drug overdoses, including increased access to Naloxone.
Naloxone has been credited with saving 63 lives since 2014. It’s a drug that reverses the effect of opioids. The local community police have been trained to administer this medication to patients overdosed on opiates. Naloxone stops the respiratory depression that happens during an overdose.
In 2014, legislators passed a law that promised immunity to anyone who administered Naloxone to someone who was overdosing.
Other Naloxone Legislation
The House and Senate recently passed a bill that takes Naloxone to the next level of optimum use. The bill allows pharmacists to prescribe the drug and train people how to use it.
Effective rehabilitation is vital in addressing the drug epidemic. According to federal data, nine addiction treatment centers in Connecticut provide outpatient and inpatient care for those struggling with drug addiction.
Drug abuse and its consequences continue to threaten the health of the citizens of Connecticut. Heroin and other opioids lead the prevalence of overdose-related death and injury.
This drug epidemic should be solved not only by the government but by the entire Connecticut community.