Opioid Use Disorder: A Growing Epidemic Within An Epidemic
In Connecticut, residents are more likely to die from unintentional drug overdose than a motor vehicle accident, according to the state Department of Public Health.
Last year, more than 1,300 people died of accidental drug overdose – a 14.6% increase from 2019, and an 88.5% increase from 2015. Through January to June this year, 547 lives were lost to overdose, with additional deaths pending investigation.
This hour on Where We Live, we talk to a peer recovery specialist from Wheeler Clinic about her lived experience with childhood trauma, opioid use disorder, and medication assisted therapy. We discuss with experts the need for state funding for nonprofits offering substance use disorder treatment -- beyond the $60 million in additional dollars that will be allocated for adult and children’s mental health addiction services over the biennium -- at a time when patient demand is continuing to climb.
We also explore ways to invest the $300 million in settlements received by the state from Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, and look into how opioid manufacturers and distributors are still pushing physician prescriptions in innovative ways, despite the Sunshine Act.
- Stephanie Almada - Peer Recovery Support Specialist, Wheeler Clinic
- Sabrina Trocchi - President and CEO, Wheeler Clinic
- Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman - Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center, and Director of PharmedOut
Cat Pastor contributed to this show which originally aired August 6, 2021.