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Witkos Urges Governor to Apply for Opiod Grants

Last week, Deputy Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) wrote to Governor Dannel P. Malloy to ask him to apply for a federal State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is accepting applications for the SOR grant program until August 13, 2018.

“The opioid epidemic is real. It is here in Connecticut and it is taking lives away from families every day all over our state,” Sen. Witkos wrote in a letter to Gov. Malloy.

“The opioid epidemic is something that touches the lives of far too many individuals and families across our state,” said Witkos. “Northwest Connecticut in particular has been hit hard by this crisis. Rural towns face unique hurdles regarding availability of treatment and intervention resources. Reports have shown the number of overdose deaths in Connecticut surpassing car accident deaths, making opioid deaths the leading cause of accidental deaths in the state. It is a heartbreaking and growing crisis that we can and we must do more to prevent and treat.”

The State Opioid Response Grant Program aims to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment using the three FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder.

Grant recipients must show how they intend to build upon existing substance use prevention and treatment activities as well as community-based recovery support services. Grants will be distributed by weighing the state’s proportion of people who abuse or are dependent on opioids who need but do not receive treatment and the state’s proportion of drug overdose deaths.

Sen. Witkos urged Gov. Malloy to direct the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to apply for the grant.

Senator Kevin Witkos represents the 8th District communities of Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury and Torrington. For more information visit www.senatorwitkos.com.

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