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The Yale Daily News has reported on the increase in overdoses in New Haven during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Connecticut Department of Health, the drug overdose mortality rate in New Haven County increased from 36.9 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2019 to 44.2 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2020.

The article details the work being done across our city to combat the overdose crisis. Read about the important work being done by SWAN and many of our great harm reduction partners.

One organization on track to partner with the city in its targeted data-sharing dashboard is New Haven’s Sex Workers and Allies Network, led by Codianni. SWAN established a mobile health unit last November to better reach its clients.

Often the first responders to local overdose incidents, Codianni said she and her colleagues are excited to get more targeted information to provide harm reduction services to the area. But she emphasized that a big step in preventing overdose fatalities is increasing immediate access to naloxone, a drug that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose long enough for an individual to receive medical attention.

“We want to saturate the city with naloxone,” Codianni said. “What’s Yale’s part in this? They could certainly promote [naloxone use]. They could have naloxone kits throughout the University. And if they don’t, shame on them — and you can quote me.”

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