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In Conn., Opioid Deaths Rise, And Worries Grow Over Role Of Fentanyl

Tom Gannam

The Connecticut medical examiner says the state saw a spike in overdose deaths from heroin and other opioids in the first three months of 2016, with 208 fatal overdoses between January and March.

If this pace continues, the death rate from overdoses in Connecticut will surpass 2015, when 728 people died from overdoses. But the most worrying increase might be in the number of deaths from fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s more powerful than heroin. It’s often mixed with other opioids and sold on the street. In the first three months of 2016, 83 people died from fentanyl overdoses. That’s more than the number of fentanyl-related deaths in all of 2014.

Last week law enforcement officials arrested and charged nine men in New Britain with distributing fentanyl. Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said the men were major suppliers of fentanyl in Connecticut.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.