Van that brings opioid treatment to Milford, Greater New Haven expanding service area


MILFORD — When an individual who’s hooked on opioids decides they need assist , the assistance must occur instantly, based on Marcy Hotchkiss of Bridge Healthcare.

“Time is crucial when a person makes the choice to achieve out for assist, so not having to name a clinic, anticipate an appointment, and get to the clinic whereas experiencing the illness and cravings that withdrawal causes is vital,” she mentioned. “The specified influence is to save lots of lives by giving folks with opioid use dysfunction fast and quick access to remedy.”

The answer is to convey remedy to the affected person, Hotchkiss mentioned. For Milford-based Bridges, that takes the type of the Cellular Dependancy Remedy Crew service, or MATT’s van.


First launched in 2019, the van takes remedy to the group, parking in areas of excessive want all through New Haven County.

Throughout Connecticut, opioid dependancy continued to be an issue in Connecticut in 2020. A Connecticut Department of Public Health month-to-month report on drug overdoses, which was based mostly on information from the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, confirmed that from January 2020 by way of December 2020, there have been 1,359 confirmed deadly drug overdoses, a 13.3 p.c enhance over 2019, with 78 pending instances that had been awaiting toxicology affirmation as of final month.

In 2020, fentanyl, an artificial opioid, was concerned in 85 p.c of Connecticut’s unintended drug overdose deaths, in contrast with 82 p.c in 2019.

For Bridges, a $50,000 grant from the Connecticut Affiliation of Realtors Basis, now means the van can broaden its hours and repair space, Hotchkiss mentioned.

“MATT’s Van is primarily funded by the Connecticut Division of Psychological Well being and Dependancy Companies, however these funds don’t cowl the fee to employees the van and providers and have it on the highway full-time,”Hotchkiss mentioned. “They (the Realtors Basis) did an enormous fundraising push final yr because of the overdose loss of life of member’s son.”

The fundraiser, which included a Keith City live performance at Mohegan Solar, permits Bridges to have the van on the highway Monday by way of Thursday, along with offering phone help service on Fridays.

Those that search service from the van will obtain a full routine of remedy, based on Dr. Tara Kerner, the medical director at Bridges.

“A routine of remedy, mixed with remedy, case administration and mutual help teams has confirmed to be the best mannequin in treating opioid use dysfunction,” Kerner mentioned.

That signifies that along with prescriptions for the opioid remedy drug Suboxone, which reduces withdrawal symptons, shoppers can also get entry to a peer counselor, a Narcan overdose reversal equipment, referral to a remedy heart resembling like Bridges, and a trip to a pharmacy to fill their prescription.

The van’s schedule is Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to three p.m. at Beth-El Heart, 90 New Haven Ave. in Milford; Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to midday at La Quinta Inn, 400 Sargent Drive in New Haven and 1 to five p.m. on the West Haven Inexperienced; Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Saving Rock Parkade, 228 Captain Thomas Blvd., West Haven and 1 to five p.m. on the West Haven Inexperienced; Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. on the New Haven Inexperienced and a couple of to 4 p.m. at Fairbank Residences, 355 Ferry St., New Haven. Peer help is obtainable all different instances Monday by way of Friday by calling 203-494-5811.

People searching for remedy can method the van or name the quantity on the aspect, Hotchkiss mentioned.

“They’ve a dialogue of the individual’s wants. The individual is related by way of telehealth for a prescription for Suboxone, Buprenorphine and Naloxone, to assist mitigate cravings for opiates and the sickness that comes from drug withdrawal,” she mentioned.”

The individual additionally can be engaged in remedy, remedy administration and case administration as applicable.

After the preliminary contact, the restoration coach will keep involved with the consumer for 3 months, offering the consumer with “help of somebody who has lived expertise and might relate to the person’s issues and hopes for restoration,” Hotchkiss mentioned.

The van is proscribed to journey to places in Milford, West Haven and New Haven, however will present providers to anybody from any metropolis who wants them.



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