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Report: Conn. Needs More Treatment Options To Fight Opioid Crisis

Dimitris Kalogeropoylos

A new state-commissioned report released today by a team of Yale public health experts says Connecticut needs to expand its treatment options to fight its opioid epidemic. Last year more than 700 people died from overdoses in the state.

The report says only one in five people in Connecticut who deal with drug addiction get treatment. Some people in the state are on wait lists to see a doctor who can prescribe drugs like methadone and buprenorphine, which help people recover from addiction. The report recommends getting rid of those wait lists.

Dr. David Fiellin of Yale is the lead author of the study. He says people need to get help the same day they come in for it. “Unfortunately, this is a type of disease in which patients have some level of ambivalence, from time to time. And so when they are ready for treatment, we should try to provide that treatment in a rapid manner.”

The report is part of the state’s long-term plan to address the opioid epidemic. Some of the recommendations are based on practices the state’s already trying, like a recommendation for access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Governor Dannel Malloy said this week that the state has given out more than 9,000 naloxone kits since 2014.

The team say they’ll monitor the state’s progress and work with the public to make sure the plan’s carried out.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.
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