New Connecticut Opioid Response
(July 1, 2019)
Connecticut is adopting new strategies to combat fentanyl, reports the CT Mirror. Already, the state has seen 45 overdoses by June 10, nearly double the amount of the same period last year. In 2017, 1,1017 people died of overdoses, and 75% of those cases involved fentanyl. State lawmakers are strengthening government response to the drug: governor Ned Lamond signed a bill to increase the penalty for illicitly selling fentanyl on June 28, and U.S. Senator Sidney Blumenthal organized an emergency meeting of lawmakers, law enforcement, and healthcare providers on June 10 to address the crisis.
The state has prioritized education of fentanyl’s dangers, already teaching 50,000 high school students across the state. Another goal is increasing access to medically-assisted treatment (MAT) and naloxone, both for addicted inmates in state jails and for those in affected communities. This last program pairs community outreach workers with addiction doctors to provide immediate treatment and naloxone to the community. Sen. Blumenthal has co-sponsored the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Care Act to fund these efforts. The bill would guarantee $100 billion in funding over the next ten years if it passes into law.