5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is calling on her colleagues to address the opioid crisis in a bipartisan manner. A hearing on the topic was held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee recently.
Esty called it an epidemic that affects families across the country regardless of age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. She says the stakes are high, and if vital treatment centers are forced to close their doors, or if access to them is limited, people will die. Over the past five years, Connecticut has experienced a spike in the number of opioid-related deaths.
According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, deaths rose from 357 in 2012 to 917 in 2017. Autopsies have increased 70 percent since 2010, mostly because of drug overdose deaths. The state is on pace to experience more than 1,000 overdose deaths this year, meaning Connecticut would have the 3rd highest rate in the country.