STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — More than 1,000 people will likely die from an accidental drug overdose this year in Connecticut, according to a grim projection by the state’s chief medical examiner.

In 2012 that number was 357.

The main culprit appears to be the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl which is flooding into the U.S. from China in the form of counterfeit pain pills, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

Killer Tide: The Opioid Epidemic

Sen. Richard Blumenthal advocates for tighter checks at the borders.

“The focus these days at the borders is on immigration but equally, if not more important is the counterfeit drugs coming from China that may include opioid’s like fentanyl that are real killers,” Blumenthal said. “And fentanyl is now responsible for more than 60 percent of all the overdoses in Connecticut.”

The senator says Connecticut is moving in the right direction by treating addiction like a disease, and steering overdose survivors toward treatment instead of jail.

But Blumenthal believes more has to be done to make treatment and rehab available.

Fentanyl was blamed for the death of pop superstar Prince last April.


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