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AP: Connecticut spent more than half of federal opioid funding on treatment

November 13, 2018

Unlike nearby states including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont, Connecticut has spent more than half of its 21st Century Cures Act funding on opioid addiction treatment, an Associated Press analysis found.

The act allotted 4,535,320 of its allotted 11,129,713 grant that began in September — is supporting 11 recovery efforts compared to just four treatment initiatives.

“We do most certainly recognize the importance of recovery,” Lejardi said. “We’re trying to get people into treatment … and help them while they’re in recovery. Fatal overdoses are about level this year, but the number is still very high. It’s still disturbing, and it’s still too many.”

United Community and Family Services, one of the agencies that got money from DMHAS to expand access to treatment, also has used other funding on prevention and recovery, Chief Operating Officer Cara Westcott said.

Westcott said the $60,000 her agency got from DMHAS brought medication-assisted treatment to three new locations of UCFS, which has offices in Norwich, Griswold, New London, Colchester and Plainfield.

But other funding streams helped UCFS employ a recovery coach and a social worker, Westcott said.

“The money that comes down, whether it’s federal or state, they tell us what they’re going to fund,” she said. “You just hope it matches up with what you can do and what the community needs.”

l.boyle@theday.com

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