Regional Opioid and Other Drug Policy Workgroup
Prior to the onset of the opioid epidemic, this workgroup operated as the “Recovery Committee” at Housatonic Valley Coalition. Comprised of a number of different treatment providers, people with lived experience and recovery supports, they met quarterly and held an annual Recovery Month event. In 2004, they also coordinated several community forums around the issues of prescription drug misuse and opioids. In 2007, the Recovery Committee sponsored 14 National Council on Prescription Information and Education (NCPIE) prescription drug awareness trainings to local communities. This was the beginning of the shift in focus to opioids. In 2014, the group engaged many new partners and we began to meet monthly as the Opioid Prevention Workgroup.
We have developed and distributed data and resources through primary care, chiropractic, orthopedics, oral surgeons, sports medicine. pharmacies, addiction treatment and other providers. We have employed the CT media campaign, Change the Script, across several different venues including, radio, newspaper, social media, mailing, posters, school and business settings. We have provided permanent drop-boxes at local police departments and promoted DEA Take Back events with our local prevention councils across region 5.
In 2020, the group began to discuss other substances and emerging trends related to vaping, benzodiazepines, and marijuana. We generally have an outside speaker at monthly meetings and we develop a legislative agenda every year. Members of our group belong to various sub-committees of the CT Alcohol and Drug Policy Council which helps us to stay connected to current statewide information and programs.
We continue to meet at 5:30 pm on the first Thursday of each month at the Stony Hill Fire Department. (During COVID 19 we are meeting through Zoom).