Conn. to receive $22M to fight opioid epidemic
The funding package, announced Friday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, consists of two $11 million grants, to be dispersed over two years
By Nicholas Rondinone
HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut will receive more than $20 million from the federal government to fight opioid addiction.
The funding package, announced Friday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, consists of two $11 million grants, to be dispersed over two years.
The money will be used to expand access to medication-assisted-treatment, including shelter and street-based treatment in New Haven and a city to be determined later. The funds will also help pay for on-call recovery coaches in additional hospital emergency rooms. And it will fund pre- and post-release treatment and overdose prevention to inmates with opioid-use disorder.
A portion of the grant will cover the cost of 10,000 doses of naloxone (also known as Narcan), a medication to reverse opioid overdoses, for distribution throughout the state.
"This grant award will provide substantial support to our state as we work collaboratively to fight the battle against opioids," state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon said. "This much-needed funding will provide us with the opportunity to continue our efforts to prevent addiction, treat those who want help and support people in their recovery from this illness."
In addition to those grants, the Connecticut Department of Public Health is receiving $3.6 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those funds will be used to pay for two new positions at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner "to deal with the increased volume of deaths and to streamiline the data that comes in," said Maura Downes, a spokeswoman for the department.
The one-year grant will also be used to establish other Department of Public Health programs that will remain in place after the grant money dries up, Downes said.
In the first half of 2018, 515 people died from drug overdoses, and the synthetic opioid fentanyl—now commonly replacing heroin—is to blame for many of the fatalities, recently released statistics show.
The numbers, compiled by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, show little signs of the deadly opioid epidemic slowing in Connecticut, with projections looking similar to last year's numbers.
Fentanyl, the dangerous and potent synthetic opioid, was present in 370 of the 515 overdose deaths, outpacing any other narcotic.
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