Report shows increase in drug overdose deaths in CT

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NEW CANAAN -

A new report revealed opioid addiction is now the No. 1 cause of accidental death in Connecticut.

According to statistics, 917 people died from opioid drug overdoses in 2016.

Silver Hill Hospital's Dr. Eric Collins says a person trying to stop using can experience withdrawal symptoms after just two weeks of taking opioids.

"These drugs hijack the system, release a lot more dopamine," he says.

Dr. Collins says a doctor will likely prescribe medication to help wean a person off the drug or to stop the opioid from working. He says counseling and support groups can help with recovery.

Dave Fleming, of New Canaan, is a recovering opioid user. He says the No. 1 first step out of addiction is asking for help.

"The opioid addiction, you become physically addicted," he says. "When you need that and you don't take the pill, it's like having the flu 10 times over."

Fleming says he and 30 other families are part of the "New Canaan Parent Support Group," a family support group dedicated to helping young people falling into addiction.

The group was started a year ago by New Canaan resident Paul Reinhardt, who lost his son to drug addiction.

The New Canaan Parent Support Group meets every Thursday evening.

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