Recovery coaches hope to stem Connecticut's opioid crisis

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Connecticut is getting several million dollars to fight the opioid crisis, some of which will go to people trying to coach people who overdosed back to health.

As was announced Friday, a total of $30 million will be given to the state in federal funds.

Some money will go to hospitals to hire recovery coaches, who are former addicts who meet overdose victims in the emergency room.

Katie Siekiera is a recovery coach who has been clean for 10 years. She says when someone is overdosing on prescription painkillers, the ER is the best time to reach them.

"We are able to transform lives and touch them in the moment of clarity that they're having, and catch them at that most pivotal moment in their lives," says Siekiera.

The money will also buy 10,000 new Narcan kits. Some local fire departments say they use so much Narcan, they're struggling to keep it in stock.

Connecticut nearly tops the nation in opioid deaths, but the numbers are starting to level off. Numbers had tripled in the past six years.

The state now requires electronic prescriptions, and first prescriptions are limited to just seven days.

The feds are also cracking down on synthetic marijuana, which led to 110 overdoses in New Haven last month. A law passed this week requires the United States Postal Service to better track foreign shipments.

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