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State Senator

Steve Cassano

Representing Andover, Bolton, Glastonbury & Manchester

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Senator Cassano Supports Senate Democrats’ Emphasis on Opioid Prevention and Treatment

HARTFORD, CT – Today, State Senator Steve Cassano (D-Manchester) strongly endorsed the Senate Democrats’ announcement of opioid prevention and treatment as a part of its 2019 legislative agenda, part of its Thursday announcement of “A Healthy Connecticut,” priorities directly benefitting the health and safety of the state.

Senate Bill No. 769, An Act Concerning the Prevention of Opioid Use Disorder, would require the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council to provide the Public Health committee with specific recommendations, assisting in expanding public access to substance use disorder treatment services and detoxification. This bill is one of several healthcare priorities laid out by the Senate Democrats for this legislative session.

Opioid deaths in Connecticut have spiked in recent years, growing from 357 deaths in 2012 to more than 1,000 in 2018, and each of those deaths represent a real person – a loved one, a friend, a neighbor.

“I’ve been working in my district to promote awareness of opioid addiction and use for years.” said Sen. Cassano. “This is an epidemic that affects everyone, not just the poor, not just those in the inner city. You can go back to Lyndon B. Johnson declaring a war on poverty, but it still exists. We may have lost that war, but must not fail here, as the negative impact on our quality of life would be massive. We must act now to see a national war on opiates with Congressional support, and we can’t do that without the proper facilities. This bill is an important step toward fighting the opioid crisis.”

The Manchester Police Department started the HOPE Initiative in 2016, which diverts individuals addicted to narcotics and opioids from criminal punishment to treatment if they are willing.

The Senate Democrats also on Thursday announced additional priorities including bans on flavored vaping nicotine products, increased oversight of utility response times, and increased staffing at state nursing homes.

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