Governor Malloy unveils statewide strategic plan for opioid crisis in the state

(WTNH / Tina Detelj)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Governor Dannel Malloy unveiled a statewide plan-focusing on increased access to high quality medication assisted treatment in the library of Yale School of Medicine.

The strategic plan was commissioned by the governor – to address the opioid crisis in Connecticut.

It’s a blueprint designed to expand what is already in place and help guide the fight against opioid addiction and overdose.

Emergency departments see their share of the action.

At mid-day today, an all too familiar case is brought into the emergency department of Yale-New Haven Hospital.

A patient is rushed in — after an opioid overdose.

Dr. Gail D’Onofrio says “While they are here, we not only treat their emergency condition, we observe them, we also start treatment such as with buprenorphine if possible and we directly link them to a facility.”

Access to evidence based care — medications and counseling — are among the key initiatives in a statewide plan – aimed at the opioid crisis in Connecticut.

Dr. David Fiellin says, “The most effective treatment strategy for opioid use disorder are medications such as buprenorphine and methadone along with counseling and what we need to do is work with providers throughout the state to make these treatments much more readily available.”

Drs. Fiellin and D’Onofrio with Yale School of Medicine – helped craft the blueprint.

“What this strategic plan is helping us is to get treatment everywhere,” says Dr. D’Onofrio.

That includes getting the life saving medication naloxone – also known as narcan — which reverses opioid overdose – into the hands of more people fighting the addiction.

Another element – educating providers and the community.

Dr. Fiellin says “We are going to focus on working with the physician community and providing routine trainnings, our goal is to have trainnings every month throughout the state.”

The emergency department plays a pivotal role they say — this is where people with addiction seek help. This one is among the most proactive and is seeing success.

“We have been like the test case here,” says Dr. D’Onofio, “and now we want to bring it and spread it out to the entire state.”

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