Harp Woos Feds For Addiction Help

Paul Bass PhotoMayor Toni Harp returned from a trip to the nation’s capital with a plan to boost how New Haven tackles drug addiction.

Harp made the Washington trip last week, meeting with Elinore McCance-Katz, head of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

They discussed New Haven’s effort to combat drug addiction in the wake of last year’s mass K2 overdoses on the Green as well as ongoing opioid overdoses common to communities nationwide.

Harp said McCance-Katz told her about a new pot of grant money the agency was announcing later that week to help cities tackle drug addiction in creative ways. McCance-Katz suggested that New Haven apply.

Harp said Monday her administration indeed plans to seek a grant under the program to help New Haven figure out how to coordinate the work of some 50 “actors” that tackle the issue, from government agencies to Hill Health Center to Connecticut Mental Health Center.

In addition, the city plans to renew a request to the state Department of Mental Health & Addiction (DMHAS) Services to fund a “street psychiatrist” in New Haven who can prescribe medication while making rounds of areas like the Green where addicts congregate.

The Malloy administration had expressed support for the idea last year but it was unclear who would lead DMHAS after the transition to a new administration. Now that the same commissioner, Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, has remained at the helm, Harp said, she’s confident that the deal can be struck. (Delphin-Rittmon also teachers at Yale School of Medicine.)

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posted by: Noteworthy on January 29, 2019  1:20pm

Always looking for the next pot of gold, a new honey pot in which to dip the city’s snout ...

posted by: Patricia Kane on January 29, 2019  2:51pm

What is happening on the LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program that was started by the City?
  Is it progressing? Dormant? Abandoned?

posted by: Bill Saunders on January 29, 2019  8:07pm


The City is so upset about the Lead Poisoning issue, they can’t see past the acronym!  That’s my joke.

But in reality, ‘this addiction epidemic’ on the Green was caused by two individuals who have already been apprehended.

One was even a ‘homeless advocate’ and previously convicted ‘drug peddler’ from what I remember about the Real Dope on this National Headline. 

The ‘addiction crisis’ on the Green was about two opportunists, who have since been apprehended and pleaded guilty.

Looking for another ‘honey pot’ is right, Noteworthy!
Harp is ‘recasting’ this to grab the tails of possible money to fight the ‘opioid crisis’.

The two issues couldn’t be more separate…
Once again, the Mayor should be embarrassed about being so ‘out of touch’...

For everything but more free money, that is..

I just don’t understand.
I am perplexed.

Where have I head those lines before…..

posted by: wendy1 on January 29, 2019  10:38pm

Another expensive and wasted trip (to DC) for nothing.  AS for a “street psychiatrist”,  we’d need more than one.  I would be interested to hear what the Cornell Scott people think about this suggestion.  I dont think it’s realistic to have a shrink pass out scrips to indigent people unless the state is paying for the drugs or medicine as well as the doc.  Without $$, it’s hard to get meds or treatment anywhere.  Just ask any homeless person in the park what they do when they’re sick.

posted by: Bill Saunders on January 29, 2019  11:04pm


Maybe they’ll pass out samples.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on January 30, 2019  11:06am

It is the Mayor’s responsibility to seek resources to help fight and infiltrate this scourge.  Had she not pursued this source, some of you same individuals would be opining about that.

Look, the city and cities all across America are dealing with a serious opioid problem.  And if there is help in Washington, then the Mayor and every other mayor across the nation should go there to get it.