Buckbee Applauds Community Effort to Combat Opioid Misuse

Posted on September 9, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon


New Milford – Justin Cullmer, long-time New Milford resident, veteran, and prior high risk navigator with Western Connecticut Health Network, will assume a similar role within the New Milford Police Department. New Milford Police Chief Spencer Cerutto and Mayor Pete Bass recently announced that Cullmer will assume a navigator role within the department to help guide patients, who are hospitalized in instances of substance abuse, to treatment options and recovery resources.

At the announcement of the new community role, Rep. Buckbee said, “There’s no simple, one-sized fits all approach, in fighting the ongoing opioid epidemic. However, Justin will fill an evident void in the continuum of care for those fighting addiction. He will play an integral role in making sure people have the right resources needed for recovery by physically being there in the hospital in the event of a medical emergency, which is a critical time to try and help. Too many members of our community are slipping through the cracks at that point in time, but I am confident Justin can help them.”

Chief Cerutto also explained that there will be a strong, no tolerance policy for those caught dealing drug in New Milford. Looking toward the upcoming 2020 legislative session, Rep. Buckbee has vowed to put forth legislative proposals that will help those who are seeking assistance in recovery.

Specifically, Rep. Buckbee is looking towards creating policies that will restructure the way in which insurers handle policies for those fighting addiction. The legislation will be focused on making sure life supporting resources are not taken away from those in need during critical points within the recovery process, which are unique to each individual. Previously this year, he supported legislation that strengthens the regulations regarding the prescription process of medication derived from opioids.

“I have already started the process of talking to my legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put forth actionable steps toward creating state laws to help address this issue. If the legislature can put forth ways that improve the ability of police departments and the judicial branch to get tougher on dealers, helping to eliminate access, and to get help to those who truly need it, then we can continue to make progress against this ongoing health crisis,” said Rep. Buckbee.

Rep. Buckbee will continue to have conversations within the community to gather ideas from key stakeholders. The legislative session begins in February, at which point Rep. Buckbee will have the opportunity to submit legislative ideas to the committee of cognizance so it can be written into a bill proposal.