HOPE — a community partnership between New Britain, Berlin, Southington, Hartford HealthCare entities (The Hospital of Central Connecticut, MidState Medical Center and the Behavioral Health Network), the State’s Attorney’s Office and various community mental health agencies — is designed to offer certain opioid users the option of seeking treatment instead of being arrested. Police Officers have the option to forego a possession or paraphernalia charge for people willing to go into treatment immediately as long as the individual has no outstanding warrants for previous criminal charges. All New Britain police officers have been trained in the HOPE initiative’s message so they can explain what’s available to opioid users facing arrest. If the individual consents, they would be taken to either hospital where the emergency department staffs are prepared to help. Hospital staff are able to administer (the opioid replacement medication) Suboxone, connect the patients with recovery coaches and assess them in an environment that is stigma-free.
Anyone seeking further information can request to speak to an officer at 860 826-3000 or visit The Hospital of Central Connecticut.
The US and CT Constitutions say a person in certain situations has the right to an attorney even if they are unable to afford one. That’s where public defenders come in. The Division of Public Defender Services (DPDS) is an independent division of state government that handles more than 100,000 criminal, juvenile delinquency, family support, and child protection cases each year. As public defenders, we cannot be hired; we represent people only when judges appoint us to do so. We are committed to understanding our clients’ lives and goals, and to working with each client to achieve the best possible outcome in their unique case.
The Prescription Monitoring Program collects prescription data for Schedule II through Schedule V drugs into a centralized database, the Connecticut Prescription Monitoring and Reporting System (CPMRS), which can then be used by healthcare providers and pharmacists in the active treatment of their patients.
The purpose of the CPMRS is to present a complete picture of a patient’s controlled substance use, including prescriptions by other providers. As a healthcare tool, the CPMRS is used to improve quality of patient care and to reduce prescription abuse, addiction, and overdose. This allows providers the opportunity to properly manage the patient’s treatment, including referral of a patient to services offering treatment for drug abuse or addiction when appropriate.
Under Connecticut law, information about all transactions for Schedule II-V controlled substances dispensed in Connecticut must be reported to the CPMRS. Pharmacies - both in and out of state - and dispensing practitioners must submit data daily.
On July 9, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act No. 19-191 “An Act Addressing Opioid Use” (PA 19-191). PA 19-191 makes various revisions to Connecticut’s opioid use prevention and treatment statutes, and also creates new legislation pertaining to opioid use prevention and treatment. The following provisions of PA 19-191 are relevant to health care providers and hospitals:
Effective October 1, 2019
Starting January 1, 2020, hospitals are required to administer a mental health screening or assessment to patients treated for nonfatal opioid overdoses, as long as the screening or assessment is medically appropriate. Results of the screening or assessment must be provided to the patient or to the patient’s parent, guardian or legal representative, if medically appropriate.
Prescribing practitioners who prescribe opioids for the treatment of pain with more than a 12-week supply are required to establish a treatment agreement with the patient or discuss a care plan for chronic opioid use. “Prescribing practitioner” means a physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse and certain other providers licensed by the state of Connecticut who are authorized to prescribe medication. The treatment agreement or care plan should include treatment goals, opioid use risks, urine drug screens and treatment expectations. The prescribing practitioner must record the treatment agreement or care plain in the patient’s medical record.
Current law requires that pharmacists offer consultation to Medicaid patients when dispensing a drug. PA 19-191 expands that requirement so pharmacists are required, with limited exception, to offer such a consultation to all patients when dispensing a drug. The new legislation applies to pharmacies and hospital pharmacies that dispense drugs for outpatient use or drugs prescribed for an employee or an employee’s spouse or children. Pharmacists must keep a record for three years of counseling provided and of a patient’s refusal or inability to receive counseling.
DHMAS-operated or -approved drug treatment programs must educate patients with opioid use disorder, and their relatives and significant others, on opioid antagonists and how to administer them. Additionally, prescribing practitioners affiliated with a treatment program must deliver or issue a prescription for at least one dose of an opioid antagonist to a patient that the prescriber determines would benefit from it. The prescription must be issued when the patient is admitted to the program or first receives treatment services.
The Constitution State believes in fairness and equal justice. But the most vulnerable members of our communities can't afford the legal help they need in life-changing situations.
Poor people charged with a crime have a right to a free public defender. But for most other kinds of cases, low-income people do not have a government-funded lawyer.
Without legal help, many vulnerable people don't know their rights or can't access the justice system to protect their basic needs - like safety, health, housing, employment, and education. The most recent study in Connecticut found that people below the poverty line face hundreds of thousands of serious legal problems each year - and that, too often, they don't know where to turn for help.
Connecticut Legal Services
Main St. New Britain, CT 06052