Restriction on manufacturing some synthetic drugs and selling them requires workers to undergo extra training
Prison workers top list of those not complying with Connecticut COVID-19 mandate
Almost 6,000 people have failed to comply with a requirement in Connecticut law requiring them to take additional training and training in identifying synthetic drugs and how to spot their harmful effects, according to a new report.
Restriction on manufacturing some synthetic drugs and selling them in Connecticut requires workers to undergo extra training to detect the risk of addiction and overdose. But officials report most employers in the prison system have not had employees take the training.
A report by the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shows 4,889 state, county and municipal workers failed to enroll in the training as of July 30, about three-quarters of those required to be trained. Of the 24,390 workers statewide who had completed the education, about half reported taking the training.
The ODHAAC report shows the largest proportion of workers who have not completed the training is workers in correctional facilities. The largest compliance rate is in education and training, departments and higher educational institutions, with 93.5% having taken the training.
Synthetic drugs such as 2C-Bubble and K2 have caused deaths and injuries across the United States. As well as the abuse in prisons, the drugs have created a spike in overdoses across Connecticut. The synthetic drugs are often sold on the street and made by manufacturers who have overcome detection by FDA regulation.
Manufacturers attempt to evade enforcement of the laws by mixing their synthetic drugs with other substances which cannot be detected by investigators.
In 2012, the Connecticut state prison workers’ union collected data on employees who did not complete any training. However, it was not possible to know at the time if the employees were aware of the law requirement.
One important finding is that most employees do not appear to have come across the law requirement when planning their schedules or staffing their work areas. Additionally, most state and local correctional institutions require job training or educational requirements to receive a correctional worker’s license. The contracts do not include training requirements relating to public health and safety.
Robert Franek, the Connecticut state DOC commissioner, said he was working with legislators to ensure companies comply with the law.
“Continuous effort is being made to ensure employers understand these requirements, but the legislature still needs to pass a bill to pass a conviction in the House and a bill in the Senate that requires offenders to re-apply for a license,” Franek said.
Ron Klimek, assistant director of the ODHAAC, said they looked at discrepancies between reporting states and how often laws are enforced.
“The biggest concern with getting the agencies educated and training all employees is that, unless mandated or policed, it will fall by the wayside,” Klimek said.