Rep. Courtney hosts roundtable on substance use

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Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) recently held a virtual roundtable on substance-use prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unintentional drug overdose deaths in Connecticut rose 20 percent from January to July compared to last year.

The roundtable was attended by leaders of organizations fighting the opioid epidemic, addiction prevention experts, and health care providers. Attendees discussed how the pandemic has affected their work and what support is needed.

The discussion focused on the effect of reduced funding and the difficulty of serving at-risk communities.

Courtney also announced that eastern Connecticut had received two federal grants.

The federal Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Drug Free Communities program awarded the city of Norwich $125,000 and the Andover, Hebron, and Marlborough Youth and Family Services $125,000.

Norwich will use the funding to support the Norwich Prevention Council, while the family service will use the funding to support their Coalition for a Healthy Empowered Community program.

Roundtable participants included Rayallen Bergman, Norwich Youth and Family Services Drug Free Communities coordinator; Deanna Delaney, Reliance Health Norwich recovery coach; Michael Doyle, Reliance Health Penobscot Place Recovery Coach Program unit director; Miranda Mahoney, Griswold PRIDE project coordinator; Kathleen Dufficy, Matt’s Mission founder and president; and Kelly Barret, Matt’s Mission vice president.

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