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CTLN Opinion+: Daniella Arias

Program Coordinator of The Hub: Behavioral Health Action Organization on opioid epidemic and mental illness

Welcome to another week of CTLN Opinion+, where we have conversations about issues and concerns of the Latino community. 

In a July 2020 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) they shared their findings on growing issues with substance misuse in the Latino community. According to the SAMHSA,

“The opioid misuse (heroin use and prescription opioid misuse) rate among Hispanic/ Latinos is similar to the national population rate, about 4 percent. In 2018, 1.7 million Hispanic/ Latinos and 10.3 million people nationally, aged 12 and older, were estimated to have engaged in opioid misuse in the past year.” 

The Latino community is one of the fastest-growing in the United States with their numbers expected to reach above 30% of our country’s total population by 2060 making it increasingly important to find ways to combat drug misuse within their communities. 

This week we are joined by Daniella Arias, Program Coordinator of The Hub: Behavioral Health Action Organization for Southwestern CT. The Hub works to provide a myriad of services to the citizens of Connecticut hoping to combat the growing opioid epidemic in the United States, along with projects that raise awareness of and provide assistance to those with mental illness. When asked about the work Daniela is most passionate about, she shared how The Hub is working within their communities to help curb the opioid crisis. 

“The opioid epidemic is a huge thing that is a large and ongoing concern. Which only seems to be getting worse, unfortunately. So, here at the hub, we work with AmeriCorps which also works towards helping decrease the opioid epidemic. We do that by offering twice a month Narcan training which is free and open to everyone.” Narcan is a life-saving nasal spray that can be used to treat those who are experiencing a known or suspected opioid overdose emergency. 

Daniella continued, “We give out free Narcan kits to those who attend the training as well as provide these kits to other organizations in our communities like police, fire departments, and schools for them to use” 

To hear more about The Hub’s work in fighting the opioid crisis and providing help to those experiencing mental illness you can watch this week’s episode below. 

Resources mentioned in the video: 

The Hub Connecticut:

The Hub’s Narcan training and services:

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