Tolland forum to focus on opioid overdoses

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TOLLAND — As Connecticut communities continue to battle the opioid epidemic, students in Tolland are gathering Wednesday morning for an assembly that’s one of a kind.

Over the last year, the Chief Medical Examiner’s office projected nearly 900 overdose deaths in the state, compared to less than 500 three years ago.

The majority of these overdose deaths were caused by some kind of opioid drug, like certain prescription pills and heroin.

Many communities have come together to try to lower those numbers, and several laws have been passed.

Tolland High School students will hear from two mothers of former students who became addicted to opioids and who both overdosed.

Lori Osgood Jackman’s son graduated from Tolland in 2011 and he overdosed after graduation.

Jennifer Kelly’s daughter, Justice, overdosed in her early 20s, but survived. She now lives in a vegetative state, needing 24 hours of specialized care.

The Eastern Highland Health District will host a forum at the high school Wednesday night for parents and other community members impacted by opioid addiction. The forum starts at 5:30 p.m. with a resource hour.

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