Drug Overdose Prevention
This year we are trying to make overdose prevention available to people who can assist if they believe some is experiencing an overdose.
According to a 2004, Connecticut Department of Public Health report on fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses between:
2000 – 2002
- About 73% of unintentional opiate overdose decedents were white and 8% were black. Almost 18% of decedents were Hispanic (of any race).
- About 41% of unintentional opiate and related narcotics poisoning deaths took place in the decedent’s home.
A more recent study by the Yale School of Public Health released in 2009 found between:
1998 – 2009
- 61% of the overdoses involved heroin; the remaining cases involved prescription opioid analgesics such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and methadone, or a lethal combination of the opioids.
- Most of the deaths were among people 35-44 years old.
- There was an increasing trend of overdoses in older individuals, including some in their 50s and 60s.
- Only 22 of Connecticut’s 169 towns did not report an overdose death during from 1998 – 2009
- There was a surprisingly high prevalence of overdose deaths in parts of Litchfield, Middlesex, and Windham counties, as well as in the state’s major urban centers and their surrounding communities.
The 2004 report suggested, “naloxone appears to be the most promising current intervention strategy to reduce overdose mortality”.
In 2011 the Connecticut General Assembly enacted Good Samaritan legislation to protect people who report an overdose and may be in possession of drugs at the time of reporting. This year Connecticut wants to take the responsible next step and allow health care professionals to prescribe opioid antagonists (naloxone) to a broader group of persons for the prevention of drug overdoses.
In short this will allow a licensed healthcare professional to prescribe naloxone to people who may be present when a person is experiencing an overdose.