CT hospital invests in opioid epidemic - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT hospital invests in opioid epidemic

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Hospitals are investing to help opioid crisis (WFSB) Hospitals are investing to help opioid crisis (WFSB)

Eleven shoreline area towns in southeast Connecticut are fighting opioid addictions and will now benefit from a hospitals donation of Narcan.

There's not a town or city in southeast Connecticut that's not effected by the opioid crisis. Lawrence and Memorial Hospital said because of that, they have stepped up to help local communities save lives.

Nearly every police cruiser in southeast Connecticut including East Lyme Police Chief Michael Finkelstein carries a life-saving kit of Narcan. The drug is used to treat victims of an opioid overdose.

"The likelihood of getting that to somebody who is in an overdose situation within minutes is highly likely in the town of East Lyme,” Finkelstein said.
Just this year alone, East Lyme has responded to and treated eight heroin victims with Narcan.

"Opioid overdoses can't wait for a perfect solution to be put in place they require immediate action as we all know a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death,” Lawrence and Memorial Hospital President Patrick Green said. 

"The Police are straight out now not only are they dealing with domestic violence all the other things police officers weren't doing 20 years ago now they're saving lives,” East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson said. “They're practically EMT's."

On Tuesday, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital announced they are investing $10,000 dollars’ worth of Narcan and giving it to 11 local towns.  

The is the second consecutive year that Lawrence and Memorial Hospital with Yale-New Haven Hospital has come forward to offer this to the communities.

According to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, heroin addiction treatment has increased tremendously over the years.

There were 74 cases treated in 2014, 111 treated in 2015 and 165 cases treated in 2016.

Facing budget challenges from the state, these municipal leaders said Lawrence and Memorial Hospital's funding will go a long way in saving more lives, quickly.

"No community has no problem.,” Waterford resident Dan Steward said. “We all have this issue We've seen it save lives."

Officials with Lawrence and Memorial Hospital said the opioid crisis is a little better this year. Lawrence and Memorial Hospital officials said they've treated 71 heroin specific cases through July that's less than half the same time frame last year.

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