Overdoses on the rise in Winsted

Winchester Police Seal
Winchester Police Seal

WINSTED — According to data released by the Winchester Police Department, in 2020 the department responded to 28 calls reporting overdose incidents.
The data lists that five of those calls were for fatal overdoses and 19 of the calls required the use of NARCAN.
In comparison, in 2019 the department responded to 16 overdose calls, which included two fatal overdoses, and 11 calls requiring the use of NARCAN.
The rate in Winsted is a reflection of the growing amount of overdoses all across the state.
According to a report by the state’s Department of Public Health, from January 2020 until the middle of December, there were 1,259 confirmed drug overdose deaths and 276 pending cases waiting for toxicology confirmation.
The department noted that there was a 12.9 percent increase in drug overdose deaths by November 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
While the department did not have data for the final two weeks of December, it noted that the percentage of fentanyl-involved drug overdose deaths continued to be high in 2020, with the average percentage of fentanyl-involved deaths at 85.4 percent of all unintentional drug overdose deaths as of December 2020.
The department also noticed a trend of new and emerging substances contributing to overdoses.
This includes xylazine, an animal tranquilizer, which has been used in combination with fentanyl.
Other substances contributing to overdoses include the designer benzodiazepine Flualprazolam, which in combination with fentanyl resulted in nine overdose deaths, the synthetic stimulant Eutylone which has resulted in three overdose deaths, and Carfentanil, a fentanyl analog which is 100 times stronger than fentanyl, which was present in two overdose deaths.
According to Greenwoods Counseling Referrals representative Sarah Lauretti Toomey, since the beginning of this year there have already been 13 overdoses in Litchfield County, with several of them in Winsted.

There are various resources available for those in need:

24-hour crisis hotline: 1-888-444-3339 or text “LISTEN” 741-741

Greenwoods Counseling Referrals: Mental health and substance use assessments, treatment, and referrals. Financial assistance available at 860-567-4437

Addiction: Community Outreach and Recovery Navigator Sarah Toomey 860-309-3845. Free and confidential support, resources, NARCAN, harm reduction for the entire family.

Western CT Mental Health: Higher level of psychiatric and substance abuse care 860-496-3700.

Also, the organization provides a Harm Reduction Rover that provides NARCAN, harm reduction resources, along with support for mental health and addiction issues at the Open Door Soup Kitchen at 160 Main Street on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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