Malloy takes steps to treat addiction not punish it

A pharmacist displays an opioid overdose kit in Hamilton, Ohio. Chief medical officer Dr. Marcus Romanello said the emergency room averages more than an overdose patient a day. F.O.R.T (Fort’s Opiate Recovery Taskforce) began late last year, involving police and other first responders, therapists, a social worker, and a hospital pharmacist to help steer them into treatment and provide resources to their families. (AP)

Last Thursday, Feb. 4, Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed a new bill that would increase access to naloxone.

Naloxone, is a prescription drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

In 2014, there were 623 drug related deaths in Connecticut, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hartford Courant reported in an article.

“Expanding access to life-saving treatment is the right thing to do,” Lt. Governor Wyman said in the release. “Addiction can tear apart lives. Government can and should take these steps to help these families and their loved ones survive an overdose and get the treatment they need to recover.”

The bill, House Bill 5053, will make it mandatory for cities and towns to update their emergency medical services to make sure that emergency responders can give naloxone to those that have overdosed, according to the release. 

This bill is not the first that has been proposed or passed since Malloy took office. In 2011, the Good Samaritan laws were put into effect and protected those who sought medical attention for a friend having an overdose, according to the release. 

A law adopted in 2014 that, “authorizes anyone to administer an opioid antagonist to a person he or she believe, in good faith, is experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose,” has allowed state troopers to save 63 people, according to the release.

“Addiction is a public health issue and a disease and our laws need to reflect that,” Malloy said in the release. “Connecticut is taking a stand against a nationwide prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic.  These are common sense improvements that we can make today that will save lives tomorrow. We are committed to fighting this epidemic, and in yet another session, we are taking action.”


Annabelle Orlando is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at annabelle.orlando@uconn.edu. She tweets @AnnabelleOrland