Litchfield County

Alert Issued for Overdose Spike in Litchfield County

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Amid concerns about drug overdoses in the Litchfield Hills, another alert has been issued after several people overdosed and one person died recently.

And it’s just the latest warning as work is underway to help people with substance use disorders there.

“The drug supply is completely unregulated, unpredictable and it's getting worse, you know, by the day,” said Lauren Pristo, the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force coordinator.

An alert about a spike in overdoses from the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force was sent out on Friday.

It comes after five cases in 24 hours, including one person who died.

“We put out alerts to say like, you know, we know something's going on and out in the community, we're seeing a lot of overdoses occurring,” said Pristo.

Pristo said opioids are usually to blame, especially fentanyl.

Her group hopes the alert encourages people not to use alone, to make sure they have access to resources and for those with substance use disorders to consider treatment.

“I think we're seeing overdoses increasing in every age group, every demographic. Even teenagers, fatal overdoses amongst teenagers have increased and not because teenagers are experimenting more but because the stuff they're experimenting with is far more deadly than it used to be,” said Pristo.

So far this year there’s been 147 suspected overdoses in Litchfield County according to a first responder reporting website called ODMAP

Eighteen people have died according to state data.                                                                                                                                 

The task force also wants to get the word about the opioid overdose reversal medicine called Narcan.

You can pick it up at various sites in Litchfield County and having it easily available could save someone’s life.

“We know prevention of fatal overdoses works. And it gives the person a second chance, you know, gives them an opportunity to make decisions to better their health, whether it's by reducing the harm of their substance use or accessing care,” said Pristo.

We’re told in Litchfield County they’ve seen a decrease in deadly overdoses for two years in a row.

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