Gov. Lamont announces expansion of program that prevents misuse of prescription drugs to combat opioid crisis

Opioid Crisis

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– A technical way to save lives. Governor Ned Lamont announced funding to help battle addiction. But it’s basically an IT tool.

How do you stop addiction before it starts if you’re a doctor in a busy ER like at St. Francis hospital?Now the state says it has some extra funding to do just that.

“Sometimes in public policy, the things that save lives are the things that may seem a bit technical,” said Luke Bronin, mayor of Hartford.

A 1.3 million dollar grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allow more health professionals in Connecticut to connect to an information system that state officials say makes a difference in the lives of people battling addiction.

The grant will expand access to the prescription monitoring program, allowing doctors to lookup a patient’s history. It will also provide free access to this gateway for pharmacists. The program has been around for years but hasn’t always been funded by the government.

“They can recognize dangerous drug interactions possible drug misuse or patients who are at risk for abusing opioids,” said Michelle Seagull, commissioner DCP.

“Now we have a reliable constant source of federal funding to stop doctor shopping,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

“To be able to have the tracking and the tracing and to make sure – as the senator said – we’re not able to doctor shop or pharmacy shop,” said Congressman John Larson.

“No longer will that doctor be able to say, ‘I didn’t know. I didn’t know they had already gotten a prescription.’ Now there’s no excuse,” said Gov. Ned Lamont.

Officials say about 75 percent healthcare professionals are able to connect to this system.

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