EAST HAMPTON — State Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex, led a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis in Connecticut, and local communities, at the East Hampton American Legion Post 64 earlier this week.
Over the course of an hour, Needleman joined a coalition of community leaders, including law enforcement, nonprofit and health care professionals, as well as those personally affected by addiction, to discuss current responses, what strategies do and don’t work, and how to better battle opioid addiction, according to a press release.
Participants included East Hampton Police Chief Dennis Woessner, Colchester Police Senior Officer Robert Labonte, Colchester Youth and Social Services Director Valerie Geato, East Haddam Youth and Family Services Director Toni McCabe, Youth & Prevention Program Coordinator for East Haddam Youth and Family Services John Fournier, and Barbara Moore of the Stronger Bridges Support Group.
They were joined by a mother and daughter who spoke of their experiences with addiction and seeking treatment, the release said.
Woessner said his department responded to eight overdoses in 2018 using Narcan, and while all eight lives were saved, the department has to pay for every dose, according to the release.
“It’s an epidemic, and we need a team approach to try to solve it. We need to work together to stop this problem,” Woessner said in the release.