The Opioid Crisis in Connecticut: Medical and Legal Perspectives – A01

The President’s Track
CBA Task Force on Opioids

Session A: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Over 900 Connecticut residents died from an opioid overdose in 2016. This statistic is echoed throughout the United States. It is a rare attorney who has not been impacted by this epidemic, whether in their practice, their community, or closer to home. Learn about the situation in Connecticut and what is being done to help from medical and legal authorities. 

You will learn: 

  • Current law and policy regarding opioids 
  • About legal issues lawyers face when advising clients who are dealing with opioid addiction in their businesses or in their families
  • The perspective of healthcare professionals on what can be done to alleviate the crisis

Ralph J. Monaco, Conway Londregan Sheehan & Monaco PC, New London

Attorney Monaco was named the New Leader of the Law for New London County in 2002 by the Connecticut Law Tribune. Since that time, Connecticut Magazine named him to its list of Connecticut Super Lawyers and New England Super Lawyers in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2009, he received the Publisher’s Award from the Connecticut Law Tribune for challenging the State of Connecticut’s attempt to remove funds from the Attorney Client Security Fund.

Attorney Monaco served as the 87th President of the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) for the 2010-11 term, being the second youngest person to hold the position. In the past, he has also served as Treasurer of the CBA and Chairman of the CBA Young Lawyers Section. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the CBA Litigation Section and serves as its legislative liaison. Attorney Monaco is on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, where he is a Life Fellow. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association. Attorney Monaco served Jury Committee of the Chief Justice’s Public Safety and Trust Commission, which committee made recommendations on improving the jury system. He is a member of the Connecticut Secretary of State Civics Commission, and is chair of the CBA’s Civics Education Committee, where he spearheads various civics education programs.



Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC

Congresswoman Esty is the U.S. Representative for the 5th Congressional District of Connecticut. The district spans northwest and central Connecticut and includes Waterbury, Meriden, Danbury, Litchfield County, the Farmington Valley, and her hometown of Cheshire.

Elizabeth was elected to Congress on November 6, 2012. She knows that job creation and economic development is a top priority for the residents of the 5th District. She’s committed to reinvigorating the district’s manufacturing tradition through investments in infrastructure, research and development, and job training. She is also a strong proponent of helping small businesses and promoting the green jobs of the future in the 5th District.



Representative Rosa C. Rebimbas, Connecticut House of Representatives, Naugatuck

Representative Rebimbas was first elected to the Connecticut State House of Representatives representing the 70th district of Naugatuck in a special election in March of 2009. She is a life-long resident of Naugatuck, local business owner and community leader.

As State Representative, Rebimbas currently serves as an Assistant Republican Leader of the House caucus. She is also a member of the Government Administration and Elections Committee (GAE).  She also serves as co-chair to the bipartisan Women’s Caucus.

Representative Rebimbas gained national attention in her first term when she sponsored a bill regarding teens and “Sexting.” She appeared on the national FOX News Network, the morning news program of “Fox and Friends,” and on CNN. She was also highlighted in several local and statewide newspapers for her ability to gain support for her bill from her colleagues.


Representative Sean Scanlon, Connecticut House of Representatives, Guilford

Representative Scanlon was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly on November 4, 2014 and is currently serving his second term. The son of a police officer and small business owner, Sean learned the values of public service and hard work at a young age. After graduating from Guilford Public Schools and Boston College, he worked as a Victim Advocate in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office before joining the staff of Senator Chris Murphy in 2009.

During his first term, Sean led the legislature’s effort to combat Connecticut’s opioid epidemic and became a leading voice on issues of mental health and addiction. In 2015 he co-sponsored Public Act 15-198, a landmark law that required education for doctors and other prescribers on prescription drug abuse, cracked down on “doctor shopping” for prescription drugs, and allowed pharmacists to prescribe life-saving anti-overdose drugs like Narcan over the counter. In 2016 Sean wrote and sponsored legislation making Connecticut the second state in the nation to limit first-time opioid prescriptions to a seven day supply with exemptions for chronic pain as a way of reducing the number of unused and expired drugs in our communities.


Dr. Daniel Tobin, Yale Medical School, New Haven

Dr. Tobin is the  medical director of the Adult Primary Care Center at the Saint Raphael Campus of Yale New Haven Hospital, diagnoses and manages complex medical conditions in the inpatient and outpatient settings. He also studies the safe use of opioids for managing chronic pain and addiction, and has collaborated with leaders in Connecticut to promote education about the safe use of opioids for the management of chronic pain.

“Over the years, I have witnessed the severe distress patients with addiction and opioid misuse suffer from as well as the profound suffering caused by chronic pain,” says Dr. Tobin. “I have also witnessed doctors struggle with how to balance these risks and benefits of opioid use.  I believe that there is a rational middle ground, and have been inspired to study and teach about this to help my patients, our society and my colleagues.”

Dr. Tobin, an assistant professor of medicine (general medicine) at Yale School of Medicine, says he is excited by the new pharmacological options available to manage complex disease effectively. “It has been very meaningful for me to travel across the United States and teach other physicians how to safely prescribe opioids and manage addiction,” he says. “My work with state legislators, discussions at public forums, radio interviews and publications have allowed me to help many people beyond the walls of my clinic.”


CLE Credit: 1.5 Hours (AOP)