FARMINGTON, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – For the first half of 2016, 223 overdose deaths in Connecticut involved fentanyl– already surpassing the 188 fentanyl-related deaths recorded for all of 2015, according to numbers released Friday by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

Heroin and cocaine deaths have also increased. Some of the increases in the heroin and cocaine deaths, may be related to fentanyl as many of the heroin and cocaine deaths also involved fentanyl, noted Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. James Gill. Heroin- and cocaine-related deaths for the January through June period stood at 244 and 118 respectively.

“There have been numerous drug overdoses in which the victims thought they purchased cocaine or heroin and instead received fentanyl or a mixture containing fentanyl,” said Dr. Gill. “This has been described as drug-Russian roulette. One never knows what the packet or syringe contains and whether it may be ‘loaded’ with a fatal shot.”

There were 444 overdose deaths in the first half of 2016. There were 729 for all of 2015, according to the new numbers.


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