Attorney General Jepsen to talk opioid crisis at RVNA Feb. 22

The opioid crisis will be the topic of Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen’s talk at the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association building on Governor Street Thursday, Feb. 22.

Jepsen, who lived in Ridgefield before being elected attorney general in 2010, will address the Western Connecticut Council of Governments — WestCOG — a regional association of 18 municipalities from Greenwich up to Sherman, including Ridgefield. The meeting, scheduled for 11 a.m., is open to the public.

Jepsen is among a bipartisan group of state attorneys general from around the nation working to address the opioid crisis. Last fall the group sent guidelines for limiting prescription opioid abuse to 15 major health care companies that provide pharmacy benefit management services.

“The opioid epidemic is the most pressing public health crisis our country faces," the attorneys general wrote. “It affects every state and has a devastating impact on communities — tearing apart families and stretching the budgets of local law enforcement and first responders as they do the difficult work on the front lines.”

Opioids are the nation’s leading cause of drug overdose deaths. The Centers for Disease Control says the number of opioid overdose deaths quadrupled from 1999 to 2015, exceeding 33,000.