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A new study by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health finds that, on average, more than one CT resident died every other day from heroin overdose deaths in the last eleven years. That rate is rising; it may soon overtake automobile accidents as a cause of death. The problem is spreading out of cities into the suburbs; all but 22 of CT’s 169 cities and towns had a fatal overdose of either heroin or pharmaceutical narcotics between 1997 and 2007. At Blue Hills Substance Abuse Services in Hartford the proportion of young adults in treatment for heroin addiction has risen from 10 to 30 percent in recent years. Overdoses are rising among older victims becoming more common among middle aged residents than young adults because of changing physiology over the lifespan, according to the Yale Daily News. A series of articles in yesterday’s NY Times finds that CT is not alone – heroin use is up across the region. Experts blame heroin’s lower cost compared to other drugs and it is sold in more lethal forms now than in the 1970’s.
Ellen Andrews