Letter: Words about addiction — written or spoken — will save lives

To the Editor:

Thank you to the Ridgefield Press for their candid article about the tragic overdose death of Dave Anderson. We would like to express our condolences to the Anderson family, and thank them for their courage in sharing their story with our community. All too often the stigma gets in the way of the truth of the pain that families endure. Your words will save lives.  

The Andersons’ story is not unfamiliar to those of us paying attention to the epidemic of opioid overdoses. Statewide, CT is on schedule to have more than 850 overdose related deaths in 2017. Addiction is a disease for which treatment and recovery can be long and difficult. Relapse is not uncommon, and relapse rates for opioid addiction are extremely high. While any overdose death is tragic, it is even more devastating when the person is trying so hard to be well.

As professionals in Ridgefield working to support youth and families, we would like to offer a few resources to follow up this story:

  • The Ridgefield Prevention Council has an extensive list of prevention and treatment resources on their website: www.ridgefieldpreventioncouncil.org  
  • CT has a 24 hour addiction hotline 800-563-4086. Call to be directed to a walk in assessment center near you.
  • Family support groups offered by CARES group. www.thecaresgroup.org
  • Medication Assisted therapies are often indicated  in the treatment of opioid addiction, and are particularly recommended for people with recurring relapse  Find out more about MAT: www.ct.gov/DMHAS

The Ridgefield Prevention Council and the Ridgefield library are sponsoring a substance abuse community forumWed. Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Ridgefield Library. 

We offer sincere condolences to the Andersen family for the loss of their beautiful son to this terrible pernicious disease. For more information about local efforts or resources, please contact us.

Tony Phillips, LCSW

Director of Social Services


Laura Cleary, MSW

RCCASA Coalition Coordinator


(203) 431-1893