EDITORIAL: Putting politics aside to deal with drug crisis

EDITORIAL: Putting politics aside to deal with drug crisis

As distressing as the recent incidence of mass drug overdoses on the New Haven Green was, the official response reveals the encouraging news that authorities fighting drug addiction, on the local, state and federal levels, seem to be on the same page.

Over the course of two days, more than 100 people in the Elm City overdosed on a synthetic marijuana product, variously known as K2 or spice, mainly on the Green. First responders described a chaotic scene of people collapsing unconscious at the same time, and others vomiting and becoming disoriented. No deaths were reported. Three people were arrested.

As if to demonstrate how powerful addiction can be, some of those hospitalized had to be treated multiple times, after going back and consuming the drug again once treated.

But as if to demonstrate how all levels of government are focusing on the problem, on the following Monday Jim Carroll — deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and President Trump’s nominee to lead the office — met with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and first responders to discuss the overdoses, as well as the country’s opioid crisis. He praised local paramedics, police and firefighters for their response to the overdoses.

“Together with our state and local partners, we are determined to address this crisis effectively through prevention, treatment and recovery, and law enforcement in order to save lives,” Carroll said.

This, of course, is how things should work, with all levels of government working together to solve a major problem. But in these times, with the nation so divided between “blue” states like Connecticut and a very “red” administration in Washington, it is notable — and encouraging — so see evidence that people can cross political and ideological lines to seek the common good.

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