The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is providing Connecticut with a $5.5 million federal grant to finance expanded efforts designed to combat the prescription opioid and heroin crisis.
According to a statement issued by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office, the funding will be used by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to “increase access to treatment, reduce unmet treatment need and reduce opioid-related overdose deaths.”
In February, the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported 917 people died from drug overdoses during 2016, a 25 percent increase over the previous year.
“Nearly every community in the country has been hit by the growing prescription pain killer epidemic, and our state agencies are working closely with local providers to treat and prevent it,” Malloy said. “This is a complex crisis that does not have a simple solution, but our work on this front will not be finished until our communities and our families are no longer struggling with the grave costs of this illness.”