- Associated Press - Sunday, March 6, 2016

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut officials have scheduled a community forum to discuss how to fight the growing problem of opioid and heroin abuse in the state.

The discussion is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday at Community Mental Health Affiliates.

Panelists will include Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, Mental Health and Addiction Services Department Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon and law enforcement officials.

Connecticut has seen a spike in opioid and heroin overdoses. The Medical Examiner’s Office says 723 people in the state died in 2015 from heroin, cocaine and other drugs. More than 400 of those deaths were heroin-related, while 107 deaths involved heroin and fentanyl, a synthetic opiate.

There were 568 deaths in 2014 from accidental overdoses. Of those, 327 were heroin-related, while 37 involved heroin and fentanyl.

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