HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials announced drug overdose deaths in the state increased by nearly 20% last year.

Exactly 1,200 people died of some sort of drug overdose in 2019, an increase mostly attributed to the continued rise in fentanyl use, the Hartford Courant reported Friday.

“Fentanyl is still increasing," Chief State Medical Examiner Robert Gill said Friday. “If we had a magic wand and could make all the fentanyl disappear, there is no doubt that we would see a considerable decline in accidental drug intoxication deaths in Connecticut.”

The number of overdose deaths had dropped for the first time in 2018 to 1,017, Gill said. Last year marked the first time the state reached the 1,200 death milestone.

A spokesman for Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday that state agencies must continue to work together and that perhaps federal funding is needed.

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