The National Safety Council has awarded Connecticut its highest mark for the state’s response to the opioid crisis in a new report released this week. Governor Malloy says there's more work to do in combatting this tragic epidemic that has ravaged families and communities across the geographic and socioeconomic spectrum.
Connecticut was one of only thirteen states to receive the highest mark of "improving," indicating that the state has implemented comprehensive, proven actions to eliminate opioid overdoses and help protect its residents.
Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino says they recently completed enhancements to a syndromic surveillance program that will allow the agency to share real-time data on suspected overdoses in the state’s emergency departments. Pino says this data, along with information gathered by partner groups and shared collaboratively, will give everyone a more complete picture of this multi-faceted crisis that will allow resources to be directed properly.
Over the past several years, Connecticut has taken significant strides in addressing the opioid crisis.
The state has expanded access to naloxone, a life-saving drug used in the event of an opioid overdose, while also increasing access to medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Restrictions have been placed on the prescribing of prescription opioids and a program has been implemented to connect recovery coaches with lived experience to individuals who report to the emergency department as a result of drug or alcohol-related medical emergencies. Since the program began in 2017, over 700 individuals have been connected to addiction treatment or services through the program.