Fatal drug overdose is a nationwide epidemic that claims the lives of an increasing number of Americans every year – over 47,000 in 2014. The majority of these deaths are caused by opioids, both prescription painkillers and heroin. The overdose crisis has not spared Connecticut, where nearly 275 people died of heroin-related overdoses in 2014, up from 174 in 2012. Many of the victims were using more than one drug, and the total number of overdose deaths for the year was greater than 300. Tragically, most of these deaths are preventable. Opioids kill by depressing respiration, and this opioid-induced respiratory depression can typically be reversed if a generic, relatively inexpensive medication called naloxone is administered in time.
In an attempt to reverse the unprecedented increase in preventable overdose deaths, nearly all states have amended their laws to increase access to emergency care and treatment for overdose victims, including the administration of naloxone.
This fact sheet provides information on laws relevant to naloxone in Connecticut.