In 2022, 1,467 Connecticut residents died from overdoses after consuming fentanyl, heroin, and other opioid drugs. 80% of these deaths were caused by fentanyl, a powerful synthetic narcotic widely distributed in the illegal drug trade. In comparison, Connecticut had approximately 380 automobile-related fatalities in 2022.
The Heroin Education Action Team (“HEAT”) of the U.S. Attorney’s Office has been fighting against opiates for years, but the dramatic rise of overdose deaths has underscored the urgent need to educate the public about fentanyl. Led by a federal drug prosecutor, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, and a parent who lost a child to overdose, each HEAT presentation teaches high school and middle school students, and their parents, that a single pill containing several grains of fentanyl can kill them. Street drugs, such as cocaine, MDMA, and marijuana, are often laced with fentanyl by unscrupulous drug dealers. HEAT presentations drive home the lethal consequences that fentanyl can bring to Connecticut families and their children.
The HEAT program seeks to mobilize Connecticut communities to address this growing, deadly threat with a coordinated, effective response.
For more information or to schedule a HEAT presentation at your school, please contact Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Stolfi Collins at Patricia.Stolfi.Collins@usdoj.gov or (203) 696-3000.