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Connecticut Opioid Summary

Revised February 2018

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths

Connecticut is among the top ten states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths. From 1999 through 2012, the death rate in Connecticut hovered near the national average. Through 2016, a more than fourfold increase was seen—from 5.7 deaths per 100,000 persons to 24.5 deaths per 100,000 persons. The national average in 2016 was 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons. 

In 2016, the number of heroin-related deaths increased to 450 deaths compared 98 deaths reported in 2012. In the same period, prescription opioid-related deaths increased from 95 to 264 and deaths related to synthetic opioids (mainly fentanyl) increased from 15 to 500 deaths (CDC WONDER).

This graph shows the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in Connecticut compared to the United States from 1999-2016. In 2016, the opioid overdose death rate was 24.5 deaths per 100,000 persons in Alabama, versus 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons in the United States.

Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions

In 2015, Connecticut prescribers wrote 2.3 million prescriptions for opioid pain relievers, or 64.0 prescriptions for every 100 persons. This was a 9.3 percent decline since 2013—and less than the national rate of 71 prescriptions per 100 persons (IMS Health).

This graph shows the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Connecticut from 1999-2016. In 2016, there were 855 opioid-related overdose deaths: 500 involved synthetic opioids, 450 involved heroin, and 264 involved prescription opioids. Categories are not mutually exclusive because deaths may involve more than one drug.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

A CDC study analyzing 2013 NAS data available across 28 states estimated the national average NAS rate at 0.6 percent of live births (CDC, MMWR, 2014). Findings from available hospital discharge data in Connecticut show a doubling of NAS hospitalizations from 137 in 2003 to 384 in 2014 (CT NAS Fact Sheet, Connecticut Department of Public Health).

HIV Prevalence and HIV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use (IDU)

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, 9.1 percent (3,5941) of the 39,513 new diagnoses of HIV in the United States were attributed to IDU. Among new cases, 8.2 percent (2,6141) of cases among men and 13.2 percent (980) of cases among women were transmitted via IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: In 2014, 955,081 Americans were living with a diagnosed HIV infection—a rate of 299.5 per 100,000 persons. Of these, 18.1 percent (131,0561) of males and 22.6 percent (52,013) of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (CDC).
  • State Incidence: Of the new HIV cases in 2015, 271 occurred in Connecticut, with 14.2 percent 1 of new cases in males and 11.4 percent of new cases in females attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).
  • State Prevalence: In 2014, an estimated 10,236 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in Connecticut—a rate of 335 per 100,000 persons. Of these, 36.3 percent1 of males and 36.0 percent of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).

Hepatitis C (HCV) Prevalence and HCV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, there were 181,871 reported cases of chronic HCV and 33,900 estimated cases of acute HCV2 (CDC). Where data were available, 64.2 percent of acute cases reported IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: An estimated 3.5 million Americans are living with HCV, including approximately 2.7 million living with chronic infections (CDC).
  • State Incidence: In 2015, Connecticut reported 3,291 cases of chronic HCV (CDC) and 15 cases of acute HCV (CT.gov). In 2014, there were 1,666 people with HIV-HCV co-infection, with 1,153 cases attributed to IDU (CT.gov).
  • State Prevalence: Connecticut has identified 51,017 cases of people living with probable or confirmed HCV and estimates that 20 percent of people living with HIV are co-infected with HCV (CT.gov).

Additional Resources

NIH RePORTER FY2017 NIH-funded projects related to opioid use and use disorder in Connecticut: 19


  1. Includes transmission to individuals with injection drug use as a risk factor.
  2. 2015 estimate after adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting. Data for 2015 were unavailable for Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

This page was last updated February 2018

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