Rising Drug Overdose Deaths in Connecticut

Drug overdose deaths in Connecticut have been on the rise for the past several years.  According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, there were 1,378 confirmed drug overdose deaths for 2020, an increase of 14.3% compared to 2019. As of November 2021, there were 1,249 drug overdose deaths. Fentanyl and fentanyl analogs were involved in the majority of deaths, and lethal combinations of xylazine and fentanyl have continued to be a problem in 2021.

Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat substance use disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can help sustain recovery. MAT is also used to prevent or reduce opioid overdose. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. At InterCommunity Health Care, MAT programs are clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs.

The FDA has approved several different medications to treat a wide range of substance use disorders. MAT medications relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. For example, Suboxone decreases the severity of withdrawal symptoms and reduce a patient’s dependence on opioids in the long term and is taken orally on a daily basis. Another option for patients at InterCommunity is Sublocade (buprenorphine), which is given by injection once a month for adults with moderate to severe opioid use disorder.

Dependence on alcohol or opioids can also be treated with naltrexone , which works by blocking the effect of opioid receptors and decreasing cravings and urges to use alcohol or opioids. Vivitrol, a brand name prescription drug, is naltrexone that is injected intramuscularly once a month.

Patients can access addiction recovery services at InterCommunity with or without insurance. Call 860-569-5900 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Read here for more information on MAT and common misconceptions.