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Connecticut leaders say online addiction service offers a new road to recovery

Narcan nasal spray.
Molly Ingram
Narcan nasal spray.

More than 1,400 Connecticut residents died due to addiction-related issues last year. That’s nearly 4 per day.

State leaders say a new online addiction service has the potential to bring that number down.

Connecticut residents now have access to the Shatterproof Treatment Atlas. It’s an online directory that connects people with treatment for addiction.

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysieiwicz said the state can’t fight addiction alone — it relies on organizations like Shatterproof.

“It's free, it's confidential, and it will give information to support those in need and to their loved ones who are looking for appropriate quality care,” Bysieiwcz said.

Shatterproof was founded by Gary Mendell, whose son struggled with addiction for eight years before he died by suicide in 2011.

Mendell said his family struggled to find the correct treatment for his son, who was admitted to eight different treatment centers over the course of his battle with addiction.

“We were lost,” Mendell said. “What type of treatment did he need? Did he need outpatient or residential?”

State Senator Saud Anwar (D- East Hartford) is a medical doctor and the chair of the legislature’s Public Health Committee. He said addiction is one of the most important issues his committee is dealing with.

“By the end of the day, four more people full of dreams, full of hopes, full of family, friends and people who care and love them will be lost,” Anwar said. “Every single day, we are losing four people in the state of Connecticut. And despite working on various policies, we have not been able to make as big a difference as we need to.”

Anwar said he hopes the Shatterproof Treatment Atlas can help. Shatterproof is already used in 13 other states, including New York.

Go to treatmentatlas.org to learn more.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.