CT awarded $2.5 million in federal funds for substance abuse treatment

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Over $2.5 million in federal funding has been awarded to seven health centers across Connecticut to help improve and expand substance abuse services.

Lisa Johns was just one of many mothers who rallied in New London, holding a candle in the rain against the darkness of heroin.

“Christopher is my son, he passed away on October 1, 2014 from a heroin overdose,” said Johns.

She is asking for help to stop the spread of the deadly drug so other mothers won’t have to bury their children. And help is on the way.

“This funding will no doubt provide help to those who need it. We must tackle prescription opioid and heroin use – this is a growing problem nationwide that Connecticut is working hard to combat,” said Governor Malloy.

Funding was awarded to the following health centers in the state:

Bridgeport: Optimus Health Care, Inc., $325,000
East Hartford: First Choice Health Centers, Inc., $406,250
Hartford: Community Health Services, Inc., $325,000
Middletown: Community Health Center, Inc., $379,167
New Haven: Cornell Scott-Hill Health Corp., $406,250
New Haven: Fair Haven Community Health Clinic, Inc., $352,083
Waterbury: Staywell Health Care, Inc., $325,000

Dr. Marwan Haddad, the Medical Director of that clinic says they will use the money to fight heroin at a grassroots level, providing education and medicine to primary care physicians on the front lines.

“We have a wonderful medication called Buprenorphine, which is a medication other than methadone that we can actually prescribe in doctors offices. So with this medication we can actually start treating people with opioid addictions,” said Haddad.

Haddad says the money will not only go to medicine, but also therapy and other treatments as well. The idea is to start a holistic approach at the first sign or symptom of heroin addition and that begins with the doctors in the field who see their patients a day in day out and know them the best.

While the grant was just awarded, it is retroactive back to March 1. They are expecting the money to come in any day now, and it will be doled out over the next two years.

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