Connecticut awarded federal funding to battle opioid crisis

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the CDC is urging general doctors to try physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before turning to painkillers for chronic pain. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel Malloy and members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation have announced the state will receive more than $5 million in federal funding to battle opioid addiction.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grants will be used to increase access to treatment for addicts as well as strengthen efforts to prevent drug abuse.

Officials say one of the grants will provide $1 million annually for the next three years to expand medication-assisted treatment.

State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services officials say medication-assisted treatment coupled with counseling is the best course for treating those dependent on heroin and prescription drugs.

The second grant will provide more than $350,000 a year for awareness initiatives regarding the dangers of prescription drugs for a period of five years.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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