Family members and friends are invited to participate to help raise awareness around substance use disorders
Hartford, CT – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon today launched a Remembrance Quilt at TOIVO in Hartford to honor loved ones who have died from substance use disorders, or addiction. Family, friends and loved ones are encouraged to create a square in the name of a loved one who died of a substance use disorder to be added to The Remembrance Quilt. The squares will then be joined together by quilting guilds who have volunteered their time and talent. The quilts will be displayed across the state to pay tribute to those who died and help raise awareness about this terrible disease.
“Addiction is a disease, and together we can treat and prevent it. Our work on this is not finished until our communities and our families are no longer struggling with the grave costs of this illness,” said Governor Malloy. “I commend all those who have channeled their grief into action to raise awareness throughout this project.”
Every year, approximately 570,000 people die from a substance use disorder in the United States. A report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found that 729 people died of accidental drug intoxication, or overdose, in Connecticut in 2015. For 2016, it is projected that the number of deaths from accidental overdoses in Connecticut will rise to 888.
“These families have endured a terrible loss, and yet they have come together to help educate and inform on substance use disorders,” stated Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman. “We are grateful for their strength and persistence.”
“A substance use disorder is a disease that can affect people of all ages, races and walks of life. The Remembrance Quilt is an opportunity for loved ones to pay tribute to those they have lost, while raising awareness about a devastating consequence of addiction,” said DMHAS Commissioner Delphin-Rittmon. “Our wish is that this quilt will help bring people and communities together. It will send a message that no one is alone, letting those who are actively using know that they are loved, that recovery is possible and that help is available.”
Quilting events will be held throughout the state and are open to the public. People can also participate by submitting completed squares to DMHAS. For more information about the quilt and how to participate, as well as a list of quilting events, please visit the website at www.ct.gov/dmhas/notforgotten.