Stevenson would coordinate gubernatorial response to opioid addiction epidemic
First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, who is running for lt. governor, said Thursday if elected she would lead the state’s response to the issue of addiction in a statement released to media.
"In 2017, the State Medical Examiner reported 1038 overdose deaths in Connecticut. That is more than can be attributed to homicide and motor vehicle accidents combined. The issue of addiction and co-accruing mental health challenges are tearing our families apart, straining government budgets and taxing the resources of our first responders,” said Stevenson, who is serving her fourth term as Darien's first selectman.
If elected to lt. governor, Stevenson said she sees her role as the governor’s partner and advocate on his/ her agenda.
On the issue of addiction, Stevenson wants to help coordinate the vast array or resources currently on the front lines to combat addiction.
“Some may see the role as a drug czar. I do not see it that way. More than just leading the effort, I want the office of Lt. Governor to help coordinate and facilitate communication between the many groups and organizations fighting addiction; Law enforcement, corrections, non-profits, mental health, academic, local, state and federal government all have roles in stemming the scourge of addiction," Stevenson said.
"I want to help these various entities advocate to the governor and legislature as well as increase coordination of their efforts," she said.
“The issue of addiction is very real to me. I am the mother of five children. The helplessness of watching your child, loved one or friend deal with addiction can rip families and communities apart. There is no one easy fix. No one program or plan,” said Stevenson.
“To fight addiction of all kinds we need to coordinate our resources, build on the successes and learn from the mistakes,” said Stevenson.
Stevenson was recently recognized by Liberation Programs for her work in raising awareness of and fighting against the opioid addiction epidemic. She will be honored at its June benefit.
Alan Mathis, Liberation Programs’ President and Chief Executive Officer, praised Stevenson's approach to ending the opioid epidemic. “Jayme understands that what Liberation does saves lives.”
Jayme Stevenson is serving her fourth term as First Selectman for the Town of Darien, Connecticut. She is Darien’s 43rd first selectman and only the third and longest-serving woman to hold that position since 1820. Stevenson is married and the mother of five children and one granddaughter. She began her professional career as a bond analyst at Standard & Poor’s Corporation.