Accidental Drug Related Deaths reports totals and subtotals of deaths attributable to accidental drug overdoses by place of death as reported by the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Individual deaths are categorized according to the presence of specific substances and also according to the presence of an opioid substance.
The “Morphine (Not Heroin)” values are related to the differences between how Morphine and Heroin are metabolized and , therefore, detected in the toxicity results. Heroin metabolizes to 6-MAM which then metabolizes to morphine. 6-MAM is unique to heroin and has a short half-life (as does heroin itself). Thus, in some heroin deaths, the toxicity results will not indicate whether the morphine is from heroin or prescription morphine. In these cases, the Medical Examiner may be able to determine the cause based on the scene investigation (such as finding heroin needles). If they find prescription morphine at the scene it is certified as “Morphine (not heroin).” Therefore, the cause of death may indicate Morphine, but the Heroin or Morphine (Not Heroin) may not be indicated.
“Any Opioid” – If the Medical Examiner cannot conclude whether it’s RX Morphine or heroin based morphine in the toxicity results, that column may be checked.