News release from Mayor’s Office:
In response to the national opioid crisis, Mayor Ganim and Health Director Maritza Bond were joined by Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Trumbull First Selectman Vicki Tesoro, health directors from Fairfield, Trumbull, Stratford, Monroe, and New Haven, Bridgeport Fire Chief Thode, and representatives of the police departments from Bridgeport, Fairfield, Trumbull and Stratford, as well as surrounding municipal health and prevention leaders for a call to action against Opioid addiction. Mayor Ganim and Health Director Bond took the opportunity to collaborate with regional leaders to launch the ‘BPTIamU’ Opioid awareness campaign. This campaign predominantly be about offering opioid rehab help to those in need.
“This is a national problem that knows no boundaries. Opioid overdoses are taking lives and devastating families and residents in our cities and towns across the state,” said Mayor Ganim. “The BPTIamU Opioid campaign is a valuable tool that can educate the community on support services and resources while sharing powerful testimonials of recovery and hope. It is our belief that by partnering with our surrounding towns we can increase awareness on this epidemic to end it.”
The BPTIamU initiative was designed to support those in active addiction or early recovery, highlight prevention efforts through education and strengthen collaboration among communities, public and private non-profit agencies, as well as federal, state, local, and tribal governments.
Bridgeport Health Director Maritza Bond said, “It is exciting to see this project come into fruition. The Bridgeport Health Department is committed to reducing opioid-related deaths among our citizens. And we are not alone in this fight! This is not an independent battle. That is why we are working collectively with other municipal leaders. There are many phases of awareness the Health Department is undertaking through our BPTIamU Campaign to reduce stigma among those actively using and in recovery, identify hotspots throughout the City, and coalesce resources with our community stakeholders to combat this epidemic.”
Additionally, BPTIamU will include a video component to highlight the challenges of being debilitated by and overcoming opioid addiction, based on the testimonials of those in recovery and leaders fighting to eradicate the opioid epidemic. This documentary will be used to educate the general public, invested stakeholders, and other families and friends in the community.
The crisis with opioid abuse affects us all whether you reside in Connecticut’s cities, suburbs or rural communities. We are committed to doing all we can to address the issue of opioid abuse. We have dedicated staff time to promote the resources currently available and we continue to work with doctors that prescribe suboxone to prevent opioid abuse.
First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said “Everyone knows someone who has been impacted by this epidemic of substance abuse and addiction. In Trumbull, our community partners have been fighting this devastating disease on a number of fronts–through education, reducing access to prescription and illicit drugs, providing Narcan to first responders and the community, and helping families access assistance and support. There is still much work to be done, and I look forward to expanding Trumbull’s efforts through regional collaboration.”
For more information on opioid abuse and recovery efforts, go to BridgeportCT.gov/BPTIamU.
This is a wee bit late. Every day I see evidence of the opiod crisis, people walking around zombie like. The past few years have seen several physicians convicted of overprescribing pain medications.
When a “Pick up Poop” video has more views than this one, that should tell anyone where this is going.
Back in the day, 1970 to be exact, I was on the Fairfield Drug Advisory Board, appointed by Selectman John Sullivan. We had a storefront drop in center downtown where Captain’s Pizza is today. It became part of the Greater Bridgeport Regional Narcotics Program that embraced Fairfield, Easton, Trumbull and Stratford in offerings of counciling, faith abstinence and methadone, etc. Bridgeport Mayors chaired with reps from around serving as other officers and board members. Funding State and Federal and there was training for school, police and other community reps at Yale Drug Dependence Institute.
Fast Forward nearly 50 years and drug dependence is still with us, not with a thoroughgoing medical model but with criminal treatment that is expensive from many viewpoints. And we have community leaders, family members and others who are close to us who have first hand, nearly deadly experience, to say nothing about the damage done to the African American community in the 80s, The war has been fought. Time for a change of ammunition? Time for choices to be made? Let folks live with their choices? But not cause others to pay for them, perhaps? Tough love has come to many families…..around drugs, alcohol, and other compulsions…where is there light at the end of the tunnel? Time will tell.
The city of Bridgeport ought to join the lawsuits filed against the pharmaceutical industry by other municipalities and states. Corporate greed is behind the epidemic. This is a public health nd safety issue. Of course the GOP will blame drug addicts for the problem, all the while collecting dividends from their shares of pharma stock.