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Connecticut Legislature Passes Bill To Hire Peer Navigators For Opioid Abuse

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Elise Amendola
/
AP

Connecticut state lawmakers passed a bill that would help cities and towns hire peer navigators to help combat the ongoing opioid crisis.

Peer navigators collaborate with medical professionals and police to support people with opiate use problems.

State Senator Heather Somers of Mystic said the bill could be an important step toward ending the opioid epidemic.

"We can’t give up. We can’t say rehab doesn’t work. We can’t say it costs too much. Because these are people’s lives. These are our brothers, our sisters, they’re my son’s friends, they’re my friends’ daughters. Hopefully they won’t be my grandchildren’s friends because we’ll fix it by then,” Somers said.

The bill, which awaits Governor Ned Lamont's signature, would create a pilot program to hire at least two peer navigators in five cities and towns in Connecticut with the goal of expanding across the state.