Posted on September 1, 2020 by jdooley
HARTFORD- Today at the State Capitol, State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) joined state officials and advocates for a press conference in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day.
Rep. Rutigliano stood with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Commissioner of the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph. D., representatives of the Center for Addiction Recovery and the Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition along with several family members affected by addiction.
Rep. Rutigliano has spent many years in the General Assembly working to pass legislation to combat opioid abuse and addiction. Some of the laws Rep. Rutigliano has championed in recent years are:
- Prohibiting, for adult patients, an initial prescription of opioid drugs for longer than seven days
- Prohibiting, for minor patients, any prescriptions of opioid drugs for longer than five days and requiring the prescriber to discuss the risks associated with the drug with the patient and, a parent, or guardian.
- legislation that approved the wide spread use of naloxone, making sure first responders had access and training to this life saving medication
- fixing legal language to protect those who administer naloxone (NARCAN) to try and save a life
- Prohibiting commercial health carriers from requiring prior authorization for coverage of naloxone (NARCAN)
- Requiring the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council’s state plan to include a goal of reducing the number of opioid-induced deaths in the state
- Making several changes to the state’s electronic prescription monitoring program to help facilitate prescriber and pharmacist compliance
- Improving prescription monitoring programs and prescribing practices, and increases the accessibility to the overdose reversing drug naloxone (NARCAN) by first responders in cases of emergencies
- Expanding access to drop-off boxes for unused prescription drugs to all pharmacies
- Increased penalties for those who deal in fentanyl
- Fought for expanded treatment for those addicted including alternate therapies and funds for additional rehab facilities and beds
Due to social and emotional toll on state residents due to the pandemic and the stinging state job losses from the state shutdown, there has been a 22% increase in opioid overdose deaths in 2020. Sadly, even before the pandemic the number of overdoses were increasing after seeing some improvement in 2018. At the 2020 rate, Connecticut will surpass last year’s record of 1,200 overdose deaths.
“So many families have been impacted by this deadly disease, to many young lives cut short. almost everyone, myself included, has family or knows of someone effected by this crisis. We need to help as many people as we can, raise awareness to this massive problem that effects our family, neighbors and friends. We must give resources for recovery, and continued access to the life-saving NARCAN drug”. Rep Rutigliano said
“Today, as we remember those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of a drug overdose, we come together to spread the message that overdose deaths are preventable, there is help for those who need it. There is still so much to do, ” said Rep. Rutigliano. “We are truly fortunate to have many passionate people on board the fight against substance abuse. ”