The opioid epidemic that has besieged Hartford — claiming 10 lives in the last week — coincides with key legislation that was passed just under the wire during the legislative session.
As Connecticut residents continue to die from opioid overdoses at an alarming rate, several doctors agree that being able to share health records electronically across the entire state would help fight the epidemic. But a system to accommodate that sharing remains elusive.
Emergency department physicians across the state are using more non-opioid treatments for conditions that historically have required powerful opioids for pain management, as they try to play a lead role in the overdose epidemic that kills on average 115 Americans every day. This change, coupled with other efforts, has resulted in a significant decrease in opioids ordered at emergency departments in at least two hospitals, Norwalk and Middlesex, from 2016 to 2017.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation Thursday aimed at curbing the growing opioid epidemic in Connecticut, days after the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported that an average of nearly three Connecticut residents are dying every day from accidental drug intoxication.