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Heroin Forum In Stamford Draws Legislators, Community Leaders

Debora Cartagena
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, both Democrats from Connecticut, met with public health officials and law enforcement in Stamford on Tuesday for a forum on the opioid and heroin epidemic. Himes says the epidemic is affecting more well-off communities, like Stamford, and he asked how Connecticut could use emergency federal funds to fight it.

“If you had asked me four years ago if this was sort of at the top of my list of public health emergencies, I’m not sure I would have said yes. But as a consequence, we haven’t convened groups like this all that often. So there are some very basic fundamental questions. Are we doing enough to fund the research that maybe predicts outcomes? Are we doing enough, as a doctor said today, to actually look at what works in treatment? Because apparently there’s a huge amount of recidivism? And what more can we as elected officials do?”

Himes says an education campaign could help warn people about the dangers of prescription painkillers and to help de-stigmatize addiction.

President Obama has asked Congress for a billion dollars in emergency federal funds to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic. Congress has yet to approve those funds.

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