Increase in Fentanyl Use, ODs Prompt Message from PD
The East Haven Police Department (EHPD) is reaching out to residents, asking them to educate themselves about the dangers of fentanyl use. According to a statement issued by the department on Sept. 20, fatal overdoses related to fentanyl use have increased recently.
“It’s no secret that there has been an uptick in fatal overdoses attributed to fentanyl use in East Haven and other communities recently. We want our residents to educate themselves about the dangers of fentanyl use and how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” according to the statement posted to EHPD’s Facebook page.
According to statistics published by the state Department of Public Health, since 2015, East Haven has suffered 93 deaths related to drug overdoses. Of those, 59 have been related to fentanyl, 63.4 percent. So far in 2022, East Haven has reported 10 overdose-related deaths, nine of which were related to fentanyl. In 70 percent of all 2022 overdose deaths, the victims were all reported to be between the ages of 25 and 44.
This year, 788 deaths have been attributed to drug overdoses statewide. Fentanyl was the reported cause of death in 673 of those instance, representing a whopping 85 percent.
While EHPD recognized the legality of illicit substance use, the department stressed that it was more concerned about the human lives involved and issues of addiction.
“Let us be clear: The East Haven Police Department cares about its citizens and is more concerned about saving lives and connecting those with addiction issues to care and treatment than it cares about making arrests,” the statement read. “If you or a loved one uses substances obtained illicitly, be sure to know the signs of an overdose, have access to and knowledge of how to use Narcan and do not hesitate to call 911 immediately.”
According to the statement, police are often called to the scene of an overdose too late because witnesses panicked and attempted to clean up signs of drug use.
“You will not get in trouble if paraphernalia is on scene of an overdose,” the post continued. “It’s more important to get help to you as soon as possible.”
The state enacted the Good Samaritan Law in 2011. In part, the legislation protects people who call 911 for emergency medical services for an overdose situatoin. Callers will not be arrested for possession of drugs and/or paraphernalia.
For more information about the Good Samaritan Law, visit drugfreect.org/resources/ct-good-samaritan-law.
To report an overdose, call 911.