Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut is receiving over $20 million in federal funding to enhance the state’s efforts in fighting the opioid epidemic.
“Far too many Connecticut families continue to be affected by the opioid crisis. Far too many lives have been cut short. Far too many communities torn apart,” Governor Malloy said. “It is a public health emergency that knows no socioeconomic or geographical bounds. My administration has made combatting the opioid epidemic a top priority, focusing on the root causes behind this scourge of addiction. The good news is that this year, for the first time in years, we are projected to see a decrease in accidental overdose deaths. Even so, what remains abundantly clear is that we must persist in our efforts to combat this crisis. I want to thank our congressional delegation for their partnership in combatting this dreadful disease.”
The federal funding announced today includes $22 million – distributed in two $11 million grants across two years – from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that will go to the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to support a number of activities to prevent addiction and overdoses, as well as treat and support the recovery of those living with opioid use disorders including:
- Expand access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) including shelter and street-based MAT in two urban locations;
- Increase the number of hospital emergency departments having access to on-call recovery coaches;
- Support the Department of Correction to provide pre and post-release treatment and overdose prevention to inmates with opioid use disorders; and,
- Purchase 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,” DMHAS 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, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is receiving a $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that will be used for capacity building and structural changes to aid their department’s efforts in fighting the opioid epidemic, including to support work by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
“DPH will be using this one-year grant to build the surveillance systems and increase capacity within the agency and with our partners to be able to more effectively monitor, understand, predict and target services to effectively combat this epidemic well beyond this grant,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said. “Addiction is a chronic disease, and the opioid epidemic will not be solved easily, so we need to concentrate our resources on building the systems that will allow us to better understand the breadth and depth of this disease, who is most at risk, and what services, preventative measures and other methods we all can use to turn the tide and save our fellow citizens from this horrible disease.”