The largest city in Connecticut is Bridgeport, which is located at the mouth of the Pequonnock River on Long Island Sound. With a population of 144,200, this city forms part of the Greater New York City Area. At the time of English colonization, Bridgeport was inhabited by the Paugusset Indians. The town rapidly industrialized after the connection of the New Haven and New York railroad. Until the 1970s, manufacturing was the mainstay of Bridgeport’s local economy. After suburbanization and restructuring caused loss of jobs, many people here struggled with poverty. After attracting new residents and the conversion of factory and office building for residential use, the city’s economy stabilized.
Drug-related deaths in Bridgeport and other Connecticut cities hit a high during the last 10 years. In 2013 alone, there were 539 drug-related deaths in this state, which was 100 more than 2012. Bridgeport’s drug deaths nearly doubled in 12 months’ time. In addition, there are more people entering drug treatment facilities. Opioid abuse—both prescription and illicit—remains a major problem in the city as well as the entire state.
Located on the northern shore of Long Island Sound, New Haven is the principle municipality of the region. With 130,000 inhabitants, New Haven is the second largest city in CT. Founded in 1638 by the English Puritans, New Haven is the home of Yale University, which is a major part of the economy here. The median family income in New Haven is $35,000, with 24.4% of families living at or below the poverty level. Interestingly, the female to male ratio is 100 women to every 88 men.
New Haven has seen the scourge that is prescription pain medication (pills) abuse. Because of opioid abuse, users are turning to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to obtain. A local New Haven hospital saw a 37% increase in hospital emergency department encounters for opioid-related near-deaths and deaths. According to recent Connecticut BPH and Social Services statistics, there were 43 overdose deaths in New Haven in 2013, which was up from 12 in 2004.
Hartford is the capital of Connecticut, and is the seat of Hartford County. There were 125,000 people residing here, based on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Called the “Insurance Capital of the World,” Hartford is home to many insurance company headquarters, as this is the region’s major industry. After the Civil War, Hartford was the richest city in the States, and remained so for several decades. Now, however, 3 out of every 10 families living below the poverty level. 83% of Hartford’s jobs are filled by commuters from near-by towns, which earn over $80,000 a year. However, 75% of local residents earn $40,000 or less.
Hartford, CT has drug problems. Around 6,000 people smoke marijuana, while another 2,600 use and then abuse prescription (RX pills: Oxycodone, Vicoden, Percocet, Valuium, Morphoine, etc.) drugs. In this city, 34 people die from alcohol-related deaths each year. Around 740 people are arrested each year for drugs and another 560 get DUIs in Hartford every year. Prescription drug abuse is also a problem here, with 51 people dying from opioid overdoses in 2013. That is a 200% increase from 2004, according to statistics from Hartford.gov.
Around 128,000 people live in Stamford, Connecticut, which is part of Fairfield County. This city is 30 miles from Manhattan, and is considered part of the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metro area. Home to several Fortune 500 and 1000 Companies, Stamford is the largest financial district outside of New York City itself. The median age of Stamford residents is 37 years and it has about equal males to females by ratio. One of the highest-educated cities in the U.S., 44% of Stamford residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The city is 53% white, 13% Black, 8% Asian, and 24% Hispanic. Around 33% of residents are foreign-born. The average family income is $72,300, and only 8% live below the poverty line.
CT has seen an increase of opioid and heroin deaths, which ballooned to 729 in 2015. The statistics from the Stamford Patch include Stamford, with 444 overdose deaths occurring in the first half of 2016 in this city. Like other Connecticut cities, teens in Stamford also use marijuana (pot, weed, grass, herb) , alcohol, and inhalants. Many teens admit to abusing cough medicines.
North Stamford contains around 1/3rd of the land in the city of Stamford. Considered a village, this area became part of the City of Stamford in 1949. When Stamford’s population grew during and after World War II, the town developed North Stamford Home to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, a 118-acre facility. At the center, school children participate in a water utility program each year. In addition, North Stamford also is home to Buttonwood Manor, a large estate on 8 acres that was built by Jacob Stevens in 1809.
Drug abuse has led to increased addiction treatment admissions in Connecticut, with 48,000 per year. Of those admitted for treatment, 73% are men, and 27% are female. Around 18% of admissions are for those 31-35 years of age and another 20% for those 36-40 years. 29% of admissions are for those people ages 41 to 55 years of age. Common abused drugs in North Stamford include prescription opioids, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.
Nicknamed “The Brass City,” Waterbury CT is located on the Naugatuck River, 77 miles northeast of New York City. There are around 110,00 people in this city, which is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Throughout the first part of the 20th century, Waterbury led the U.S. in making brassware. After an economic decline in the 1980s, Waterbury was named one of the “100 best places to raise a Family” in 2008. The city’s main employers include the City of Waterbury, Waterbury Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and the State of Connecticut.
According to a recent national survey, 18% of Connecticut adolescents drank alcohol during the last 30 days. Stats show that Connecticut is ranked 4th among all states for underage drinking. In 2012, 20% of young people in Connecticut admitted to smoking marijuana, with this state ranked 17th in the nation for the drug. In 2013, 13.5% of Connecticut high school students admitted to smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Additionally, the Republican-American cited that Waterbury had 34 overdose deaths related to opioid substances.
Norwalk is a city in Fairfield County and it has an estimated population of 88,485. Settled in 1640 and incorporated in 1651, Norwalk was named for “north-walk”, which is in John Warner Barber’s historical documents regarding the town. The Indians here were called the “Norwake Indians”, so this could also be the town’s name origin. The city is in a 36-square mile region that gets around 45 inches of rain per year.
Norwalk has drug abuse and alcoholism; much like many towns of Connecticut. In this state, there are around 16,000 DUIs and 200 deaths related to driving intoxicated each year. 28,000 people also use cocaine in Connecticut and another 74,000 have addiction problems with prescription drugs. According to crime statistics, around 21,000 people each year are arrested for drug-related charges in Connecticut. Fairfield County also had 101 overdose deaths in 2015, based on a report in the Connecticut Post.
This city is 70 miles from NYC and has around 81,000 inhabitants. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area and was named for early settlers who came from Danbury, Essex, England. Nicknamed “The Hat City,” the hat industry was strong in Danbury until the mid-1900s. Home to the Danbury Hospital, Wester Connecticut State University, Danbury Municipal Airport, and the Danbury Fair Mall, this city has the largest lake, called Candlewood Lake.
Like other towns in Connecticut, Danbury has seen an increase in drug abuse, use and the need for therapy and rehabilitation. Two of the main substances abused are heroin and opioid prescription drugs. According to statistics, Connecticut rehab admissions are increasing, with opioid substances being one of the main reasons for treatment. Additionally, many teens are using alcohol, as young as 13 years of age. The Danbury Patch reported that 8 people in Danbury died from overdosing on opioids (heroin and prescription pills) in 2015 alone.
With around 73,200 inhabitants, New Britain Connecticut is a city in Harford County. Home to Charter Oak State College and Central Connecticut State University, New Britain is nicknamed the “Hardware City” for its history of manufacturing and headquarters of Black & Decker. There are many Polish families in New Britain, and it was settled in 1687. Chartered as a city in 1871, New Britain has an area of 13.4 square miles, and is made up of soft rolling hills, forest, and some water.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, arrested more than 100 Connecticut residents for drug crimes in a large round-up in 2012. The individuals were charged with federal narcotics and money laundering charges. The officials stopped two criminal organizations from bringing large quantities of heroin in to Connecticut communities. In addition, they found that the narcotics were flooding the area from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Because drug addiction is a problem in Connecticut, and communities like New Britain, drug rehab treatment admissions are increasing.