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On International Overdose Day, Connecticut overdose deaths expected to rise 7 percent

FARMINGTON – Connecticut’s chief medical examiner says the number of fatal accidental intoxication deaths for 2019 is expected to increase 7% over last year.

Dr. James Gill released data Friday showing the total number of accidental intoxication deaths from January to June so far stands at 544. That’s expected to increase to 1,088 deaths for the whole year, which is 71 deaths higher than last year.

Fentanyl continues to play a major role in the number of deaths. It played a factor in 78% of deaths so far this year. That’s 3% higher than last year.

Gill noted heroin-related deaths are expected to be slightly lower than last year. Cocaine-related deaths are expected to increase from 195 currently to 390 deaths, surpassing 2018 at 345 deaths.

Saturday is “International Overdose Day“, held each August 31st to remember those gone too soon from overdose deaths, raise awareness, and reduce stigma.

Governor Lamont ordered the flag of the State of Connecticut to be flown at half-staff in recognition of the day, saying that “those struggling with substance use issues should visit www.liveloud.org or call 1-800-563-4086 for treatment resources”, and reminding people that the state offers drop boxes to dispose of unwanted medications.

Several are planned around the state today, including one at 7 p.m. in front of the state capitol.

International Overdose Day events in Connecticut:

Gone, But Not Forgotten: Remembrance Quilt Square-making Event Saturday, August 31, 2019, 10:00am, Connecticut Clearinghouse, 334 Farmington Ave, Plainville, CT 06062 

Love is Louder- Music Festival Saturday, August 31, 2019, 10:00am, Branford Town Green, 1019 Main St, Branford, CT 06405

 International Overdose Awareness Day 10:00am-1:00pm, Bristol Farmer’s Market Centre Square at North Main St. Bristol, CT 06010

International Overdose Awareness Day: Prevention, Networking & Fundraising Event Saturday, August 31, 2019, 1:00pm, North Haven Town Green, 18 Church Street North Haven, CT 06473

The Roadway of Hope CT Rally for Recovery & International Overdose Awareness Event Saturday, August 31 2019, 1:00pm, Hubbard Park Bandshell, 999 West Main St, Meriden, CT 06450

3rd Annual International Overdose Awareness Day Vigil & Food Drive Saturday, August 31, 2019, 6:30pm-8:00pm, 141 Greenwood Ave, Bethel, CT 06801

Connecticut Overdose Vigil, 7:00pm Connecticut State Capital Building, 210 Capital Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106

Prayer and Candlelight Vigil, 8:00pm, Wallingford Town Green, Wallingford, CT 06492

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