Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Forrest W. Crawford


Over the past two decades, overdose deaths involving pharmaceuticals, heroin and, more recently, synthetic opioids such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl have increased in the United States. Connecticut has one of the highest opioid-involved mortality rates when compared to other states, and between 2009 and 2017, the incidence of opioid-involved fatal overdoses in Connecticut increased by about 350%. We examined opioid-involved fatality data from the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner over a 9-year period, from January 1st, 2009 and December 31st, 2017, to better understand the granular spatiotemporal trends of the crisis within CT with an eye toward informing public health overdose prevention and treatment strategies.

The epidemiology of fatal opioid-involved overdoses in Connecticut exhibits distinct spatial, demographic, and temporal patterns. The recent increase in overdose deaths is driven by fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. Although much of the crisis has impacted white, non-Hispanic people, the burden on black, non-Hispanic and Hispanic, White populations continues to grow and outpace that of the white, non-Hispanic population. Additionally, fatalities among males are outpacing fatalities among females. Thus, future interventions ought to focus on preventing overdose deaths among people of all races and males in particular.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access