TONIGHT-- Opioid addiction forum

State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113), Ben McGorty (R-122) Laura Hoydick (R-120), JP Sredzinski (R-112), and State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) will be hosting a community discussion on Connecticut’s opioid addiction crisis on March 3 in the R.D. Scinto Auditorium at 3 Corporate Drive in Shelton. The forum is scheduled to run from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. and is open to the public.

The communities of Shelton, Derby and Stratford have all experienced difficult tragedies recently involving opioid abuse. Monroe, like other neighboring communities, is experiencing a rise in opioid abuse. The legislators from these three communities are partnering with Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Stratford Mayor John Harkins, and Monroe First Selectman Steve Vavrek in sponsoring the event focused on these three communities.

“Opioid addiction and abuse is on the rise in each of your communities and across the state,” said Rep. Perillo. “As we start to look at possible answers for addressing this epidemic, it is essential to bring together community leaders with people who have experienced the tragedy such addiction inflicts from all vantage points. I hope people will join us for this discussion.”

“A terrible toll has taken across our communities with so many lives needlessly lost or changed forever due to the horrors of opioid addiction,” said Rep. McGorty.  “These tragedies are on the increase, and any meaningful attempt to combat this begins with our towns’ leaders and residents getting together to talk about what we can each do.”

“Opioid addiction is a problem that affects all communities in our region, state, and country,” said Sen. Kelly. “I encourage all residents to come learn about the warning signs and how to get help for yourself, a family member, or a friend that may be suffering from this disease.”

The forum will feature organized discussion with the legislators as well as DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Mayor Lauretti, First Selectman Vavrek, Stratford Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour, Youth Service Bureau’s Tamara Trojanowski, and testimonials from area residents in recovery.

Figures from the Office of the State Medical Examiner indicate that accidental drug deaths from all types are at an all all-time high across the state, more than doubling since 2012.