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Top Stories 2017: Opioid crisis worsens

As the opioid crisis has worsened — President Donald Trump in October declared it a national public health emergency — officials across the region have begun to tackle related issues.

In New London, Human Services Director Jeanne Milstein pushed for the certification of sober homes while Alliance for Living, following the lead of other Connecticut cities, opened a syringe exchange. Multiple agencies came together to lay the groundwork for a coordinated system to help city residents access treatment. And there was Nicholle Maynard, a Dunkin’ Donuts employee who took it upon herself to save the life of a woman overdosing in the bathroom.

According to early numbers, however, Norwich is on track to surpass New London in terms of fatal overdoses this year. There, officials are working with a Partnership for Success grant to confront the issue. One aspect of that is the “Norwich Unhooked” campaign, in which city representatives are hosting events and spreading awareness with a key goal of reducing youth prescription drug misuse.

If 2017’s half-year projections hold steady, Connecticut for the first time will see more than 1,000 overdose deaths in a single year.

— Lindsay Boyle


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