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Gov. Malloy and Congressional Delegation Announce Federal Award of Nearly $5 Million to Address Opioid Crisis

Funding Will Support the Prevention and Treatment of Prescription Pain Medication and Heroin Misuse

(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation today announced that the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded the State of Connecticut with two competitive grants totaling nearly $5 million for the purposes of expanding access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction and strengthening drug abuse prevention efforts across the state.

The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will utilize the grants in their ongoing efforts to prevent and treat prescription drug and heroin misuse.

"The prescription pain medication and heroin crisis continues to grip families throughout our nation, and across our state. This funding will give us much-needed support to not only help those fighting addiction, but prevent people from becoming addicted in the first place," Governor Malloy said.

"Connecticut welcomes these additional resources," Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. "The national opioid epidemic has spurred strong new partnerships as we unite to save lives. Right here in our state, we've developed a comprehensive public health strategy - one that expands addiction treatment and access to a life-saving overdose reversal drug; urges broad engagement at every level of government, in healthcare, and in the community; and ensures our first responders have the tools they need to handle overdose. I applaud our federal partners for their commitment to this work and our residents."

"Opioid addiction is a public health crisis - claiming lives and destroying families across Connecticut. These federal funds will help support proven, effective interventions to help prevent and treat addiction, and we need to bring more funding to Connecticut and nationwide," the members of the Congressional delegation said in a joint statement. "Unfortunately, GOP leaders in Washington have blocked meaningful opioid addiction aid - authorizing addiction and prevention programs without a single penny of new funding. Battling this deadly and devastating epidemic will take sustained support across all sectors, and we will continue to call on Congress to do its job and provide states and communities the support they so badly need."

The Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Prescription Drugs Grant will provide Connecticut $371,615 each year over the next five years to strengthen drug abuse prevention efforts. The grant provides an opportunity for states and territories that have completed a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant to target the priority issue of prescription drug misuse. The funds will be used to raise awareness about the dangers of sharing medications and to work with pharmaceutical and medical communities on the risks of overprescribing. It will also be used to raise community awareness and bring prescription drug abuse prevention activities and education to schools, communities, parents, prescribers, and their patients.

The Medication-Assisted Treatment Prescription Drug Opioid Addiction Grant will provide $1 million each year over the next three years to expand access to medication-assisted treatment services for persons with opioid use disorder in Connecticut. This program targets states identified as having the highest rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin and opioids per capita, and prioritizes those states with the most dramatic recent increases for heroin and opioids.

"Medication-assisted treatment, along with counseling, has proven to be one of the most effective ways to treat people who are dependent on heroin and prescription drugs," DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon said. "These services provide hope and support for recovery for those battling addiction."

For more information about the grant awards, visit the SAMHSA website.

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David Bednarz
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