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Local Headlines

Peer Navigator Pilot program approved to address opioid crisis

Final legislative approval has been given to a bill proposed by a local lawmaker.  New Milford Representative Bill Buckbee pushed to create a statewide ‘peer navigator’ program, emulating New Milford’s successful community navigator program.

The bill establishes a PILOT program to allow for five new peer navigators to facilitate engagement between providers of treatment services, improve treatment retention rates, and increase the capacity of the community to support those in crisis. 

According to Buckbee, the state saw a stark 20% increase of overdose incidences over the last year. However, New Milford’s local statistics trended in the opposite direction by a decrease of 20% – a statistic attributed to local collaboration and efforts to connect those struggling with addiction to life saving services.

Buckbee’s advocacy on the issue stems from his support of Brian Cody’s Law, which was proposed to take a fresh and more comprehensive approach to America’s battle with opioid dependencies. 

Danbury Senator Julie Kushner became emotional when discussing the bill on Tuesday, noting that this is something that touches every family.  She said it should be approved for all those whose lives have been lost, and for those they can still save.