Opioid Crisis Resources

National Opioid Overdose Epidemic

 

The United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic.  Opioids (including prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl) are highly addictive and in 2015 opioids killed more than 33,000 people – more than any year on record. Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.

 

For information about the national epidemic, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at:

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

CDC: 1 in 4 people receiving Rx opioids long term struggle with addiction.           CDC: Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.

Close-up on Connecticut

 

The misuse of prescription medications and opioid-based drugs has increased significantly over the years and is a public health concern in Connecticut as well. This misuse includes taking medications in higher doses than prescribed, for a purpose other than that for which it was prescribed, or taking a medication that was prescribed for another person or obtained off the streets. Opioid overdose is often characterized by a decrease in breathing rate which if not quickly addressed leads to death.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT OPIOID OVERDOSE:

Common Risk Factors for Opioid Overdose:

  • Mixing opioids with other drugs, particularly alcohol or sedatives
  • Resumption of use after a period of abstinence from opioid use, such as recent release from a rehabilitation center or from incarceration
  • Elderly persons may forget that they already took their medication and accidentally re-take the same medication
  • Younger age groups, specifically teens or early 20s exposed to peer pressure or a social environment where there is drug use

Signs of an opioid overdose:

  • Face is extremely pale and/or clammy to the touch
  • Body is limp
  • Fingernails or lips have a blue or purple cast
  • Vomiting or making gurgling noises
  • Cannot be awakened from sleep or is unable to speak
  • Breathing is very slow or stopped
  • Heartbeat is very slow or stopped

What should I do if I see an overdose?

  • Call 911 immediately!
  • Support the person’s breathing
  • Administer naloxone (Narcan) if you have it
  • Lay the person on their side once they have resumed breathing
  • Stay with the overdosed person until the ambulance arrives

Resources

Opioid Family Stories

http://www.ct.gov/dmhas/lib/dmhas/video/bridget&craig.wmv

http://www.ct.gov/dmhas/lib/dmhas/video/Rich.wmv

http://www.ct.gov/dmhas/lib/dmhas/video/kathyl.wmv

Using Naloxone to Reverse an Opioid Overdose:

http://www.ctvideo.ct.gov/dmhas/NaloxoneTraining.wmv

Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Program

According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health:

Connecticut Department of Public Health
  • In Connecticut, residents are more likely to die from unintentional drug overdose than a motor vehicle accident;
  • Many of these deaths are linked to overdose of prescription opioid painkillers;
  • According to a 2013 CDC report, the Connecticut age-adjusted rate for drug induced mortality is 16.4 per 100,000 population compared to the national rate of 14.6.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Visit the Connecticut Department of Public Health at the following link:

http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3137&q=567398

Additional Resources:

Heroin Overdose and Addiction: A Public Health Issue

Prescription Drug Overdose and the Role of Health Care Providers

Prescription Drug Overdose in Teens and Young Adults

General Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Strategies

Current Laws related to Opioids Overdose Prevention

 

 Department of Justice For more information, view the video “The Opioid Crisis Hits Home: Stories from Connecticut,” from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKWr1izNHlo

The Governor’s Connecticut Opioid Response Initiative

 

In October 2016, Governor Dannel Malloy announced the ConnecticutOpioid REsponse (CORE) Initiative, a statewide strategy to address the opioid crisis in Connecticut.  The CORE plan was developed with the Yale School of Medicine, health insurance carriers, and other expert partners with the goal of cutting the death rate due to opioid overdoses.  Governor Dannel Malloy

The CORE plan seeks to accomplish this by means of the following strategies:

Yale University School of Medicine
  • Increased access to treatment
  • Decreased risk of overdose
  • Increased adherence by clinical providers to opioid prescribing guidelines
  • Increased access to naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdose
  • Increased data sharing across agencies and organizations
  • Increased community understanding that Opioid Use Disorder is a medical condition to increase treatment and decrease stigma