Norwalk, CT – Congressman Jim Himes hosted local legislators, law enforcement officials, and health care experts in response to the recent spike in overdoses in Norwalk. Panelists for the roundtable included Norwalk Director of Health, Deanna D’Amore, Silver Hill Hospital Addiction Psychiatrist, Dr. Kathryn Myer, Police Chief Thomas E. Kulhawik, State Senator Bob Duff and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.

“From the local, state and federal levels, we must ensure our communities have access to resources and support services to combat the opioid epidemic,” said Himes. “I will continue fighting in Congress to address this crisis and support Connecticut families struggling with addiction.”

The panelists presented their perspectives on the impact of the opioid crisis and discussed measures to reduce opioid use and treat opioid addiction in our communities. According to Police Chief Kulhawik, Norwalk has seen double the number of overdoses this year compared to last year. In response to the spike,  Deanna D’Amore, Norwalk Director of Health, said the Norwalk Health Department has been focused on education around medication disposal bags, making sure Narcan is available for first responders and outreach to local businesses.

In September, the entire Connecticut Congressional Delegation announced that Connecticut received $17 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support the state’s ongoing work to combat and address the opioid epidemic by expanding access to treatment and supporting real-time data on drug overdoses. This new federal funding is another vital step forward to help Connecticut fight the opioid epidemic.