Federal funds to expand “Recovery Coach” program


The U.S. Senate has approved a bipartisan opioid bill that will bring about $30 million to the state to battle the epidemic.

Every hospital Emergency Room is now seeing over dose victims,  in fact they have been reported in every city and town.   A growing number of Emergency Rooms here in Connecticut now also have
a “Recovery Coach” on call.

42 year old Katie Siekiera is one of them.  She has been a “Recovery Coach” for 3 years.   She’s been a recovering addict for 10 and says what she does is,  “Establish that strong connection and meet them
where they’re at.  So we’re not pushing somebody, we’re not telling them what they need.  We’re asking them what the think would be a good plan for them.”

Today Katie joined Connecticut’s two U.S. Senators and first responders to explain that training for the “Recovery Coach” program can now be expanded with this funding It’s a program that was pioneered here in Connecticut.  Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) a co-sponsor of the bill saying, “I want to say thanks to the ‘Recovery Coach’ community here in Connecticut for educating me on what a success story it has been and my hope is that we have modeled a kind of program that now states all across
the country can apply for funds for.”

Medical experts say the state is headed for another one thousand overdose deaths this year.  Dr. Vincent McClain, Assoiate Medical Director for residential services at the Rushford Center saying,   “For every one of those deaths there’s at least 30,  possibly more people who are showing up in Emergency Rooms with infections or medically compromised because of substance abuse disorders.”
Katie Siekiera added, “I am able to have that conversation, build that relationship with them and support them in some type of small step toward recovery.”

This opioid funding law also includes new inspection rules for the post office to try to find drugs coming from overseas like the one that caused all those overdoses on the New Haven Green. It will also pay for 10,000 doses of Narcan.

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