I will continue my efforts to raise awareness about this deadly epidemic, so we can make our communities safer and help people suffering from addiction. Comprehensive drug education in schools, sterile needle exchanges, and increasing access to life-saving medications like Naloxone, better known as Narcan, will help to prevent overdoses from turning into fatalities. We need to prioritize diversion programs, rehabilitation, and education to break the cycle of drug misuse.

I kept my promise to hold numerous community roundtables on this issue and foster communication between law enforcement, community leaders, and community organizations.

I have worked with the Morrissey family from New Milford to help introduce Brian Cody’s Law which calls for enhanced support systems to help those struggling with opioid addiction, stricter penalties for suppliers of lethal overdoses, better oversight of tracking opioids and waste, and ending safe havens – such as ‘trap houses’ where numerous overdoses occur on a frequent basis. 

I am proud to have helped pass legislation into law that establishes a peer navigator pilot program to match survivors of substance use disorder with individuals struggling with addiction. The navigators receive training on non-coercive and non-stigmatizing methods for engaging people struggling with addiction to start recovery and help connect them with basic needs such as food, housing or employment. 

I also supported HB 6588 to prohibit health care providers from being required to prescribe more than the physician-recommended dose of prescription drugs if deemed clinically inappropriate, reducing the potential for substance misuse.