Drug overdoses send 1,300 to Connecticut emergency rooms early in 2018

Opioid painkillers crisis and drug abuse concept. Opioid and prescription medication addiction epidemic. Different kinds of multicolored pills. Pharmaceutical medicament background

In 2018, the months of January and February were not kind to those fighting the opioid crisis in the state of Connecticut. According to statistics, some 1,300 people went to emergency rooms across the state in those two months.

The statistics were released by the Department of Public Health. The release of these statistics is part of an effort to shed light on the opioid crisis and drug overdose issues in the state. The statistics will also help provide responses to drug overdoses and track the patterns. The county with the highest number of visits to the emergency room was New Haven County with 405 visits. The county with the lowest number of emergency rooms visits was New London County with 54 visits.

As of mid-March 2018, the opioid crisis is not showing any signs of slowing down not only in Connecticut but also across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a Vital Signs report in the middle of March. The report stated that the number of visits to emergency rooms increased by 30 percent due to suspected opioid overdoses. This increase occurred from July 2016 to September 2017.

The report showed increases in overdoses in both men and women of all ages and in every geographic region of the United States. The report’s data might be able to help track overdoses and improve how emergency services department respond to these calls for service.

“The opioid crisis continues to grow throughout Connecticut,” Peter Billings of Billings & Barrett, said. “Fighting your way out of a drug addiction is difficult and can be downright impossible when faced with drug crimes charges.”

Connecticut’s increase in opioid overdoses from July 2016 to September 2017 by 30 percent is nowhere near the highest increase in the country for that timeframe. Connecticut came in towards the lower half of the list. The state with the biggest increase was Wisconsin at 108.6 percent. The state with the lowest increase was New Mexico at 8.3 percent.


Opioid addiction can occur in multiple ways: people can become addicted to medications prescribed to them for various injuries or illnesses or they could become addicted to opioids they purchase on the street. However, it is important to understand its impact to continue to fight it.


Gun control bills headed to full legislature vote in Connecticut

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The Joint Committee on Judiciary for the state of Connecticut voted on multiple gun bills on April 3. The vote came after hours of debate on all of the bills present in front of the committee. The committee voted to push bills that would regulate bump stock ammunition and ghost guns towards the full legislature of the state. The bump stock bill moved forward with a vote of 36-5. The vote to advance the ghost gun bill came in at 25-16.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has spoken in favor of legislation regulating bump stock ammunition and ghost guns. He called the vote in favor of moving these bills forward to the full legislature ‘common sense.’

Bump stocks helps to enhance a semi-automatic weapon’s rate of fire. It was used by the shooter at the Las Vegas concert that killed 58 people. Ghost guns are guns that are built using kits. The parts are bought online and do not have serial numbers on them, making them harder to track by law enforcement and other agencies. Ghost guns can be purchased without a background check or license.

Connecticut can become the sixth state to ban bump stock devices if the bill passes in the General Assembly.

“Mass shootings have taken over the news the past handful of years all across the country,” Peter G. Billings, of Billings & Barrett, said. “Being in possession of a bump stock device or a ghost gun could put you behind bars for quite a long time. Learn the gun laws before deciding to purchase a firearm so you can protect yourself from possible charges.”

The debate over these two bills took place on March 23 and lasted for more than 10 hours. Written testimony from 300 people was submitted. Testimony was also given by advocacy groups whose sole focus does not center around gun control, including the Connecticut Voices for Children.

Both bills were heavily debated, with opposition to the ban on ghost guns receiving the most heated debate. Most who spoke out against the ghost gun bill were concerned with the ambiguity of the language used in the bill presented to the Joint Committee on Judiciary.