In the United Sates, more than 115 people die from an opioid overdose. According to the website Drug Abuse, since 2015, an estimate of 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose, whether it was accidental or intentional.
The opioid epidemic could now be responsible for the number of fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the state of Connecticut.
In a new data that was released on Monday by the Connecticut State Department of Public Health, it showed that suspected number of drug overdoses in Connecticut emergency rooms are at least 3,090. From January to April of this year, the 27 care hospitals in Connecticut where visited by patients who suffered from some drug-related incident.
According to the data collected by the DPH, the syndromic surveillance system shared the number of visits that were suspected to be related to a drug overdose. This system shows the real-time estimation of the emergency department's utilization for suspected drug overdoses. The system also helps distinguish between the fatal and nonfatal overdoses from opioids.
The system did release limited patient information but nothing personal, such as their name or their address.
Per the DPH, at Connecticut Emergency Department saw at least 180 cases of overdoses per week between the months of January and April.
For each county, Hartford County had the most visits from drug-overdoses victims with a total number of 1,021. New Haven County had a total 907 reported cases, and Fairfield County had an estimate of 416 cases.
Dr. Raul Pino, commissioner of Department of Public Health, states that this information obtained should be used with discretion. However, it will be used to help deal with the current opioid crisis.
What Can Be Done?
The opioid epidemic is one of the leading causes of deaths in America at the current time. Dr. Pino stated that with this new information, it can help implement more effective interventions that will help break the cycle of these overdoses and deaths.
In the fall of 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention granted funding to the DPH to monitor fatal and nonfatal overdoses. Though the information is only county-level, the DPH plans to train all local health departments to access data for their jurisdiction.
"Once we know the why's, we can all work on the appropriate responses to help spare future individuals and families from the pain, heartache and loss caused by opioid addiction and overdose," Dr. Pino stated.