[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement in response to Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill’s announcement of 539 accidental drug overdose deaths in Connecticut in the first half of 2017, including 322 deaths involving the synthetic opioid fentanyl. The report further projects a total of 1078 deaths for the year – an 18% increase from last year’s drug overdose fatalities.
“This shocking and inexorable increase in fatal overdoses in Connecticut – 539 in the first half of 2017 alone – proves no community has been spared from the ravages of the opioid epidemic. These hundreds of deaths are made all the more tragic by the knowledge they were entirely preventable. We owe it to those who have lost loved ones to the scourge of opioids to recommit to efforts to halt this crisis in its tracks, including allocating additional resources for treatment and prevention, and dispelling once and for all with attempts to gut affordable healthcare access for vulnerable populations.”