Wilton police respond to two overdoses in one night

Photo of J.D. Freda

WILTON — Police responded to two nonfatal opioid overdoses within two hours of each other on Sunday — bringing the total so far this year for Wilton to three.

This is close to the figures reported this time last year. Four overdoses were reported in Wilton from January to Aug. 18 last year, two of which were fatal, according to police. It’s also part of a larger issue facing Connecticut and the nation.

Wilton Police were dispatched to a residence around 7:40 p.m. on Aug. 14 for reports of a 50-year-old man who was unresponsive and not breathing. Police reported the man’s friend had found him before officers arrived and gave him Narcan, a popular brand of naloxone. When police arrived, the man was still unresponsive, but had labored breathing.

“Officers began medical aid and the patient became responsive,” according to Wilton police. The man was then brought to the hospital.

About two hours later, just before 9:50 p.m., police received a call for a 32-year-old man who was “unconscious and turning blue,” police said.

“Arriving officers provided rescue breaths with a bag valve mask and administered two doses of Narcan to the patient,” according to the Wilton Police report. The man was then brought to the hospital once he regained consciousness and began breathing on his own.

Police would not disclose what each individual had overdosed on, but the dual occurrences underscore a much broader issue in the state.

Since 2015, there have been more than 8,400 unintentional drug overdose deaths in Connecticut, according to the state Department of Public Health. Fairfield County has the third-highest total of unintentional overdose deaths out of the state’s eight counties amassing more than 1,300 deaths during that time.

An unintentional drug overdose is classified as an incident where a “drug was taken accidentally, too much of a drug was taken accidentally, the wrong drug was given or taken in error or an accident occurred in the use of a drug(s) in medical and surgical procedures,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

More than 90 percent of those who died in Connecticut since 2015 were between the ages of 25 and 64, according to DPH. The group affected most by fatal overdoses since 2019 have been men ages 35 to 44.

The vast majority of those deaths come from opioids specifically. In 2021, DPH found that 93 percent of all overdose deaths involved some form of opioid, such as fentanyl, heroin or prescription-based pain relievers.

In 2021, there were 1,531 confirmed fatal overdoses. That number is up 11.4 percent from 2020, with 1,374 fatal overdoses, and up 27.7 percent from 2019, with 1,202 fatal overdoses.

There have been 660 fatal overdoses in the state this year as of Aug. 12.

Roughly 60 percent of those who died from an overdoses in 2021 were found in homes, either theirs or someone else’s, according to a state report.

Visit the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for resources.