The Quinnipiac University School of Law Center in North Haven is teaming up with community members to address the state’s opioid crisis.
An invitation-only forum featuring professionals and others affected by the deadly crisis will be livestreamed Nov. 9 and is expected to generate policy recommendations, said Dean Jennifer Gerarda Brown, and “identify programs to help and support those afflicted by opioid addiction, including their families, towns, schools, communities and treaters, to destigmatize the disease, and to offer hope to those who have been affected by opioid addiction.”
Brown said the day-long summit will identify programs that are working and help develop additional recommendations. State and local government officials and professionals from various fields examine what first responders are seeing in the field, discuss available treatment options and hear first-person accounts from dependent users, family members and caregivers.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Connecticut is among the top ten states for its rate of opioid-related overdose deaths, having seen the rate increase fourfold in 2016 from 5.7 to 24.5 deaths per 100,000 people. The national average is 13.3 per 100,000. From 2012 to 2016, combined heroin, prescription and synthetic opioid deaths increased from 108 per year to 1,214.
Ten working groups at Quinnipiac will cover areas including opioid education, first responders, law enforcement, family support, medical provider education, opioids in schools, etc. The groups will spend the next seven months researching their topics, coming up with findings and creating plans to move their ideas forward. They will return to the school June 7 to present their findings.
The Connecticut Bar Foundation and the Connecticut Bar Association are co-sponsoring the summit with Quinnipiac. Information about the findings and recommendations will be made available starting June 7.