Gov. Ned Lamont declared Tuesday, Aug. 31 as Overdose Awareness Day in Connecticut, and Town of Wilton officials announced they will also observe the day with an event at Town Hall Tuesday afternoon. The now global effort aims to raise awareness of overdoses, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and acknowledge the grief felt by many.

Lamont’s declaration notes that CT residents are more likely to die from an unintentional drug overdose than a motor vehicle accident. The majority of these deaths are linked to overdose of prescription opioid painkillers and illicit opioids.

Both suspected overdoses and deaths due to overdoses continue to rise at or near double-digit rates in Connecticut.

  • The state’s chief medical examiner estimated a statewide 11% increase in suspected overdoses during May 2021 versus May 2020.
  • For Fairfield County, May 2021’s suspected overdoses were estimated as 14% higher than May of 2020 and 19% higher than May of 2019.
  • During 2020, the 1,273 overdose deaths were more than four times the number of deaths eight years ago in 2012. There were 1,159 deaths that included Fentanyl — 83 times the number in 2012.

Town officials are inviting residents to the steps of Town Hall at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 31. Town Hall grounds will be adorned in purple, the official color of the awareness campaign.

International Overdose Awareness Day began in Australia and is now observed in countries across the world.

Suspected Overdoses, Emergency Department Surveillance Data, Source: CT Chief Medical Examiner
Per 100,000 residents
Fairfield County Statewide  
YearMarchAprilMayMarchAprilMay
201915.4716.9517.91n/an/an/a
202019.7218.1318.6627.4626.1126.87
202118.8718.6621.3128.1328.0529.76
YearAccidental Overdose DeathsOpioid in any deathFentanyl in any death
201235729814
201349541937
201456851375
2015729663189
2016917861483
20171038961677
20181017948760
201912001127979
2020137412731159
Source: CT Office of the Chief Medical Examiner