Opioid deaths have doubled and tripled in some towns in Connecticut in only six years. Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, and Hartford have the highest rates per population. However, many smaller towns have seen their rates of death triple as well.

The Connecticut Medical Examiner published accidental drug related deaths from 2012-2017 on data.ct.gov. We take these data and do a fair amount of cleaning (see Jenna Daly’s post, “Accidental Opioid-related deaths in CT and the importance of data cleaning.”) to arrive at an understanding of the totality of the issue. These data are where deaths from ‘any opioid’ (meaning some type of opioid were found in the person) take place. Therefore, one would expect to see higher rates in places with large hospitals (hence high rates in cities). However, one can also not discount that these places are also seeing higher rates among its residents.

The three maps below represent the average annual opioid related deaths across the two year time span. They show the breadth of the problem (more towns are shaded) and intensity of the issue (going from light blue to dark blue). For example,

In 2012/2013:

  • 111 towns had at least one death and
  • 1 town had over 100 deaths (Hartford)

But by 2016/2017:

  • 138 towns had at least one death (increase of 24%)
  • 4 towns had over 100 deaths (Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Waterbury)
Average Annual Opioid-Related Death Rates per 100,000 in Population