March 25, 2019

Feds award CT $5.8M to expand opioid treatment

PHOTO | Steve Heap, Shutterstock.com
PHOTO | Steve Heap, Shutterstock.com

Connecticut is set to receive another $5.8 million grant from the federal government to expand access to opioid treatment and recovery services, according to state officials.

The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (SMHAS) will receive the funding over two years from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health, Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced. SAMHSA awards millions of dollars to states to help them combat the opioid epidemic.

Connecticut will use the State Opioid Response Grant to support existing opioid-related initiatives as well as develop new programs, said DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon.

"By expanding our opioid efforts, we not only save lives by preventing fatal overdoses, but engaging more individuals into treatment so they may begin their path of recovery," she said.

Connecticut in recent years has become a leader in its public health efforts to address the opioid crisis, according to Lamont.

The state's Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) has previously reported that opioid prescriptions in the state decreased by 14 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Meantime, the state has been awarded several sizable grants from SAMHSA over the last year or so, including $22 million in funding announced in September.

In February, Lamont introduced a bill, H.B. 7159, that aims to reduce the misuse of opioids by increasing oversight of prescriptions and to improve communications between healthcare providers and patients, among other goals.

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