SHELTON, Conn. -- State Sen. Kevin Kelly, who represents the 21st Senate District (Monroe, Seymour, Shelton and Stratford), is proposing a three-pronged approach to fighting opioid addiction across Fairfield County and Connecticut.
"Opioid addiction is now a reality in our community. It affects all families of all income levels and people of all ages. This disease is now an epidemic. It demands our attention at the state Capitol," he said.
The following is Kelly's three-pronged approach:
- 1) Prevention: This year, SB 352 (see below) is progressing through the legislative process. It would limit opioid prescriptions to seven days, except in certain circumstances. By limiting the amount of opioids available to a person between doctor’s visits, the potential for abuse and addiction goes down.
- 2) Education: On March 3, nearly 200 people turned out to a forum on the opioid epidemic. This event was one way to advance the conversation about the pain addiction is causing in the community. During the forum, many people shared stories of loved ones who had fallen victim to addiction. Others warned of how easily opioids and heroin are to access in south central Connecticut.
- 3) Treatment: The state has come forward to battle this epidemic by offering a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-563-4086. This hotline can be called to help those in need access the help they deserve, but there remains a barrier to receiving treatment for addiction. "I have introduced HB 5620 (see below) to study the barriers to private insurance coverage for substance abuse treatments. The state hotline is a useful tool, but without understanding the insurance barriers that prevent addicts from receiving care, it loses utility," Kelly said.
SB 352 is an act concerning prescriptions for and the dispensing of opioid antagonists and opioid drugs. For more information, click here.
HB5620 is an act concerning insurance coverage for ovoid analgesics and requiring a study of impediments to insurance coverage for substance use disorder treatments. For more information, click here.
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