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Connecticut Gets Federal Grant To Combat Opioid Epidemic

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The state's efforts to control the opioid addiction crisis are getting a boost from new federal funding. Connecticut will receive a $5.5 million federal grant. 

The cash comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the first round of funding from President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Cures Act.

In welcoming the news, Governor Dannel Malloy said there are no shortage of ways to use the money. “Listen, we have an educational issue, we have a detox issue, we have a longer term treatment issue," he said, "and I suspect the monies will augment all of those services that we seek to provide.”

Specifically the aims will be to increase access to addiction treatments and reduce the soaring number of opioid related overdose deaths in the state.

Many advocates say even when addicts are ready to seek treatment there often aren’t enough beds available to provide a quick route into rehab.

Governor Malloy also said he’s seeking to pass legislation this session that would mandate all opioid prescriptions in the state are issued electronically and not on paper, as a way to cut down on abuse of the system.

WNPR's Opioid Addiction Crisis Reporting Initiative is supported by Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network's MATCH Program.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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