WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, applauded the HELP committee on Tuesday for passing provisions from Murphy’s Recovery COACH Act as part of a bipartisan package of solutions to combat opioid addiction, called the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. Murphy’s bipartisan Recovery COACH Act – which is modeled off of Connecticut recovery efforts for those struggling with addiction – will provide states with grants to ensure that individuals with a substance use disorder have access to specially trained coaches who can serve as a mentor, provide insight and encouragement, support for families, and help patients navigate treatment options. The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 will soon receive a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

A new report unveiled today revealed that in 2016 alone, the opioid crisis cost Connecticut $10.27 billion in fatalities, health care spending, addiction treatment, criminal justice, and lost productivity. A PDF of the report is available here. 

“We’ve had a lot of success in Connecticut with recovery coaches, and today’s vote brings us one step closer to expanding our state’s recovery coach model to communities across the country,” said Murphy. “The opioid crisis is clearly getting worse, but I’m hopeful that Congress is finally taking big action with the Opioid Crisis Response Act.” 

Murphy introduced the Recovery COACH Act and the Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Departments Act with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) last month after hearing directly from first responders and families in Connecticut about the effectiveness of using recovery coaches to help folks struggling with addiction. Over the last few weeks, Murphy met with recovery coaches at roundtable discussions in Vernon, Stratford, and Danbury. Hospitals across Connecticut – including Danbury Hospital, Day Kimball Hospital, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Manchester Memorial Hospital, MidState Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and William W. Backus Hospital and Windham Hospital – currently provide recovery coaches, and the Connecticut Community For Addiction Recovery (CCAR) trains recovery coaches all over the nation.