U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy along with local officials announced the city will get a $2.1 million annual grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to build a more cohesive and robust regional program to address the drug overdose crisis in New Haven County.

In 2022, 490 New Haven County residents suffered fatal overdoses, officials said.

The newly awarded Overdose Data to Action: Limiting Overdose through Collaborative Actions in Localities (OD2A: LOCAL) grant is expected to provide approximately $2 million per year for five years, totaling $10 million, according to federal officials. It will enable local health departments and their partners in New Haven County to expand and enhance overdose prevention, intervention and harm reduction supports and services, according to a city news release.

The efforts will include the deployment of community outreach and case management specialists who will work to connect individuals with care, community resources and harm reduction education and supplies, among other initiatives, it's noted.

The grant will also fund the creation of a new overdose data surveillance program that will enable regional partners to collect, share and act upon more accurate, timely and comprehensive overdose data across jurisdictions – and, in turn, empower municipalities and the region to engage in a more effective and coordinated response to support at-risk individuals.

Present for the announcement were New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and Health Director Martiza Bond, Blumenthal, Murphy, Dr. Robert Heimer, Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and Pharmacology, Yale School of Public Health and Samuel Bowens, Section Chief Prevention and Risk Reduction, Waterbury Health Department;

The New Haven Health Department is the lead organization for the grant and other local partners, include: the Waterbury Health Department, East Shore District Health Department, Milford Health Department, Naugatuck Valley Health District, Quinnipiack Valley Health District and the Yale School of Public Health.