DHSS’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to Host Free Monthly Naloxone Training Sessions Statewide

NEW CASTLE (March 3, 2022) – The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) is hosting free monthly Naloxone Access Training for all members of the community. All trainings can be found here: http://delaware-dsamh.eventbrite.com

Naloxone, known commonly by the brand-name Narcan, is a medication that is effective in reversing the effects of an opioid overdose in an individual. This is a free training and is open to the public. Participants will learn how to recognize and appropriately respond to an opioid overdose and are eligible to receive an Opioid Rescue Kit at the conclusion of their training. For more information, questions, or to schedule a group training, please email Narcan.train@delaware.gov or call 302-255-2777.

“Naloxone saves lives,” said DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik. “Until we can connect a person suffering from opioid use disorder to treatment, we will work with individuals, loved ones and concerned members of the community to make sure they are prepared to respond if an overdose does occur. We urge anyone who needs access to naloxone to attend one of these free training sessions, where they also will receive an Opioid Rescue Kit.”

Each training has two sessions available. The first session is a 30- to 45-minute classroom-style training in small groups with an informative presentation and plenty of time for practice and questions. This is the best option for all audiences. The second session is a Point of Distribution (POD)-style training event best for returning trainees, or those who have used their naloxone kit previously. The POD session is open for one hour, but participants should plan only for a 15-minute window to complete the training during this hour. Participants do NOT need to attend for the full hour of the POD session. At the completion of both training sessions, each participant is eligible to receive an Opioid Rescue Kit.

Trainings are currently being held monthly at the following venues, dates, and times. Due to ongoing and changing COVID-19 precautions, all attendees are asked to register via the EventBrite page to ensure compliance with state and facility/site restrictions. Available tickets through http://delaware-dsamh.eventbrite.com will be updated to reflect current capacity limitations at each location.

 

STARTING IN MARCH

Chapel on the DHSS Campus, 1901 North DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE 19720
3rd Saturday of each month 11 a.m.-noon (training); noon-1 p.m. (POD)

Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover, DE 19901
3rd Saturday of each month 2-3 p.m. (training); 3-4 p.m. (POD)
4th Thursday of each month 6-7 p.m. (training); 7-8 p.m. (POD)

Georgetown Public Library, 123 W. Pine St., Georgetown, DE 19947
1st Tuesday of each month 5-6 p.m. (training); 6-7: p.m. (POD)

Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes, DE 19958
2nd Saturday of each month 1-2 p.m. (training); 2-3 p.m. (POD)

Shipley State Service Center, 350 Virginia Ave, Seaford, DE 19973
3rd Tuesday of each month 11 a.m.-noon (training); noon-1 p.m. (POD)

Ocean View Police Department Training Room, 201 Central Ave., Ocean View, DE 19970
4th Thursday of each month 2-3 p.m. (training); 3-4 p.m. (POD)

 

STARTING IN APRIL

Chapel on the DHSS Campus, 1901 North DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE 19720
2nd Thursday of each month 11 a.m.-noon (training); noon-1 p.m. (POD)

Bear Library, 101 Governors Place, Bear, DE 19701
4th Monday of each month 5-6 p.m. (training); 6-7 p.m. (POD)

If you or a loved one is suffering from substance use disorder and need support, call DHSS’ 24/7 and confidential Delaware Hope Line at 1-833-9-HOPEDE (1-833-946-7333). A trained professional can offer a connection to treatment resources or services. For more information on overdose prevention, visit HelpIsHereDE.com.


DPH to Distribute Overdose-Reversing Medication Naloxone Friday, Sept. 6 in Millsboro

MILLSBORO  — In response to six suspected overdose deaths, including four in Sussex County, that occurred over the holiday weekend, the Division of Public Health (DPH) will hold a Community Naloxone Training and Distribution event in Millsboro on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. DPH will distribute free naloxone kits to members of the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Millsboro Fire Company, 109 East State St., Millsboro, DE 19966.

Each kit contains two doses of naloxone, and members of the community who attend these events will receive one-on-one training on how to administer the overdose-reversing medication. The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) will also have representatives on hand to answer any questions about access to treatment for those struggling with substance use disorder. 

“We know that 80 percent of overdoses happen in a residence,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “If family or friends of someone overdosing have naloxone immediately accessible, it can mean the difference between life or death for that person. We urge anyone who might ever have a need for access to naloxone to attend this distribution event, and also to download OpiRescue Delaware, a new smartphone app that provides lifesaving step-by-step instructions on how to respond to an overdose, including administration of naloxone.”

For more information about OpiRescue Delaware, go to HelpIsHereDE.com, and click on the overdose prevention tab.

Within three to five minutes after administration, naloxone can counteract the life-threatening respiratory depression of an opioid-related overdose and stabilize a person’s breathing, which buys time for emergency medical help to arrive. DPH recommends calling 9-1-1 immediately if you find someone in the midst of a suspected overdose, starting rescue breathing, and then administering naloxone. Naloxone is not a replacement for emergency medical care and seeking immediate help and follow-up care is still vital.

As of today, Sept. 5, the Division of Forensic Science has reported a total of 194 suspected overdose deaths in Delaware this year. There is always a lag in terms of both toxicology analyses and death determinations. In 2018, there were 400 overdose deaths across the state, an increase of 16 percent from the 2017 total of 345 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked Delaware as number six in the nation for overdose deaths in 2017.

In 2018, first responders administered 3,728 doses of naloxone, compared to 2,861 in 2017, a 30 percent increase.

Funding for the Community Naloxone Distribution Initiative comes from state funding built into DPH’s budget for the first time in state fiscal year 2019, thanks to the advocacy of Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long and the Behavioral Health Consortium.

Community access to naloxone has increased significantly since 2014, when legislation was enacted making it available to the public. In 2017, Governor John Carney signed additional legislation ensuring pharmacists had the same legal protections as doctors, peace officers and good Samaritans when dispensing the medicine without a prescription.

Information on pharmacy access and training for naloxone, along with resources regarding prevention, treatment and recovery, are available on HelpisHereDE.com.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Drug Take-Back Day Event Collects 5,385 Pounds of Unwanted Or Expired Medications

DOVER (May 15, 2019) – During the 18th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event on April 27, 2019, Delaware collected 5,385 pounds of unwanted or expired medicine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Division of Public Health (DPH). That amount is approximately 1,600 pounds more than the 3,739 pounds collected in October. Since the first event in May 2010, Delaware has collected a total of 90,291 pounds of unwanted or expired medicine.

In addition to the 24 drop-off locations open to the public on April 27, there are also 21 permanent medication drop-off locations throughout the state. DPH officials say the increase in collections can be attributed to the cumulative efforts of the permanent drug collection sites, which turned in their medications collected over several months to the DEA on the day of the event.

“We appreciate all of the participants that take part in this biannual event, including not only the public, but also state and local law enforcement agencies,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Holding these events and giving residents a safe place to dispose of their prescription drugs will continue to decrease the risk of drug misuse and substance use disorder, as drug experimentation often begins at home. However we continue to encourage Delawareans to take advantage of the permanent prescription drug drop box locations and not feel that they have to wait for the next event to come around.”

According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. Since January 1, 2019, there have been 84 suspected overdose deaths in the state. In 2018, 400 Delawareans died from drug overdoses, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.

DPH urges Delawareans to keep medications locked away and to drop them off at a permanent drug collection location when they are no longer wanted, necessary or have expired.

For recommendations on handling unwanted or expired prescription drugs, contact the DEA at 1-800-882-9539. If you were unable to participate in the April 27 event, you can still dispose of your prescription medication at one of Delaware’s 21 permanent drug disposal sites. View the list of sites at https://www.helpisherede.com/Get-Help/Prescription-Drug-Drop-Box.

The cumulative collections from the biannual Delaware Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events are:

May 14, 2010: 1,680 lbs.
September 25, 2010: 303 lbs.
April 30, 2011: 4,395 lbs.
October 29, 2011: 4,465 lbs.
April 28, 2012: 6,808 lbs.
September 29, 2012: 4,561 lbs.
April 27, 2013: 6,122 lbs.
October 26, 2013: 5,258 lbs.
April 26, 2014: 6,476 lbs.
September 27, 2014: 4,707 lbs.
September 12, 2015: 7,227 lbs.
April 30, 2016: 7,684 lbs.
October 22, 2016: 6,059 lbs.
April 29, 2017: 5,211 lbs.
October 28, 2017: 5,518 lbs.
April 28, 2018: 4,693 lbs.
October 27, 2018: 3,739 lbs.
April 27, 2019: 5,385 lbs.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Governor Carney signs “Mental Health Parity” Legislation

Senate Bill 230 addresses first recommendation of Behavioral Health Consortium’s Action Plan

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 230 beside members of the General Assembly, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long and the Behavioral Health Consortium, and other mental health and addiction advocates.

“I am proud to sign this bill into law, a concrete step to assist Delawareans dealing every day with mental illness and drug and alcohol dependency,” said Governor John Carney. “This legislation recognizes that mental health and drug or alcohol dependency benefits should be treated the same as medical benefits. Thank you to Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long for her leadership on this issue with the Behavioral Health Consortium, and to all of the advocates who helped with this legislation.”

Senate Bill 230, also known as Mental Health Parity, is a critical step to eliminating coverage discrimination in Delaware and mandating certain reporting requirements that will allow the state to determine if health insurance carriers and Medicaid managed care organizations are applying treatment limitations which may prevent someone from accessing care for their addiction or mental illness. The legislation will help ensure compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, passed by United States Congress in 2008, in order to ensure fair access to behavioral health treatment and making sure that those who need help can receive it.

“For far too long, people struggling with addiction and mental illness have not been treated fairly when it comes to getting the quality health care they need and deserve,” said Lt. Governor Hall-Long. “That ends now. This legislation is an important step to knocking down the barriers to treatment and eliminating stigma. I am thrilled we are enacting the first recommendation of the Behavioral Health Consortium’s Three Year Action Plan today.”

Lt. Governor Hall-Long, and members of the consortium, worked closely with former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy on this legislation.

“I applaud Governor Carney for signing Senate Bill 230, which represents a major step forward in ending coverage discrimination against those with mental health and addiction challenges in Delaware,” said Patrick Kennedy, Founder of the Kennedy Forum. “Make no mistake: This new law will save lives. By forcing health plans to submit proof of their compliance with parity laws, Senate Bill 230 shifts the burden back to insurance companies and away from families in crisis. I would particularly like to thank Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long, whom I worked closely with on this bill, for her outstanding leadership, as well as Representative Bentz, Senator Townsend, and Senator Henry for helping to expand access to treatment.”

Senate Bill 230 requires health insurance issuers to complete an initial analysis, and submit a report to the Department of Insurance and the Delaware Health Information Network.

“Mental health and substance abuse disorders are among the greatest public health challenges that our country and our state face,” said Senator Bryan Townsend, prime sponsor of Senate Bill 230. “It’s important for our entire health care system, from public policy to commercial insurance, to respond to that challenge by demonstrating that we value mental health just as much as physical health and that parity is a standard we take seriously in Delaware. I’m thankful to the Lt. Governor for her advocacy on this issue and to Gov. Carney for signing this bill into law.”

“The Behavioral Health Consortium gives us the opportunity to take a deep dive into Delaware’s challenges as they relate to behavioral and mental health. I thank Lt. Gov Hall-Long for her leadership on these issues,” said Representative David Bentz. “Senate Bill 230 was a collaborative effort that increases reporting of insurance coverage for mental and behavioral health in an effort to help us get a clear picture of the care in our state. Addiction is a disease – like cancer or heart disease – and we should be doing what we can to combat it and help those who struggle.”

Stakeholders, such as the Ability Network of Delaware and NAMI Delaware, were also heavily involved in the passage of this legislation.

“Ultimately, real parity breaks down the final barrier to stigma,” said Carolyn Petrak, Associate Executive Director of the Ability Network of Delaware.  “When insurers cover mental health and substance use disorders in an unbiased measure and those seeking treatment need not weigh the cost maybe then, the barriers that stigma creates start to crumble.”

“Already there is significant stigma about mental health conditions. Only about half of the 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental illness seek treatment each year,” said Anne Slease, Director of Advocacy & Education for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Delaware. “Overcoming the stigma is a big obstacle. Paying the bill shouldn’t have to be.”

Click HERE for photos from the bill signing.

 

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Lieutenant Governor, Behavioral Health Consortium Present Governor with “Three-Year Action Plan”

 

Advisory body developed roadmap to address prevention, treatment and recovery

 

WILMINGTON, Del. – On Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, along with members of the Behavioral Health Consortium, presented Governor Carney with their initial report, a “Three-Year Action Plan,” to confront addiction and mental illness across Delaware.

“I am proud to release this initial report to Governor Carney,” said Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “The members of the Behavioral Health Consortium have been meeting for over six months listening to members of the community tell their personal stories and experiences of how the addiction epidemic has affected them and gathering their feedback on how we can improve our behavioral health care system and better serve Delawareans. This report is an initial roadmap for the Governor and members of the General Assembly to address the challenges we face and start saving lives.”

Creation of the Behavioral Health Consortium was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan for Delaware. Last August, the Governor signed Senate Bill 111, creating the advisory body of advocates, health officials, law enforcement, state leaders, and members of the community to develop an integrated plan addressing prevention, treatment and recovery for mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders. It has been meeting since October to develop both short and long term solutions to address behavioral health and the addiction epidemic in Delaware.

“Too many Delaware families are dealing with the effects of addiction and mental illness,” said Governor Carney. “This action plan gives us a path to follow, to directly confront many of the challenges facing Delaware families, to expand access to prevention and treatment services, and to reduce the stigma around mental illness and substance abuse. I asked Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long to lead this effort because she has the experience and leadership necessary to help us make real change. I look forward to reviewing this plan in more detail, and to talking to members of the General Assembly about a path forward. Thank you to the Lieutenant Governor, and all the advocates across our state for their leadership on this very important issue.”

Based on the data gathered by the Consortium, and from the voices of more than 600 Delawareans that participated in a community forum process, the report is divided into six main areas of action:

  • Access and Treatment
  • Changing Perceptions and Stigma
  • Corrections and Law Enforcement
  • Data and Policy
  • Education and Prevention
  • Family and Community Readiness

Each contains both immediate and longer term recommendations for action to improve the behavioral health care system in Delaware.

“Although the consortium already had a great deal of expertise among its members, the group still solicited a lot of public input that helped inform this first report,” said Representative David Bentz. “It’s also encouraging that this report includes a detailed action plan, which is something we can begin to enact almost immediately. This won’t be a report that sits on a shelf and collects dust – it’s going to get put good use right away, making a difference for residents facing mental health and substance abuse issues.”

“Thousands of families, advocates, medical professionals, and policymakers across the state have stood up and said that we need to meet the addiction crisis head-on,” said Senator Stephanie Hansen. “That’s an incredible resource, and the Behavioral Health Consortium’s focus has been keeping this train moving in the right direction. The Consortium’s final report is the product of months of work that provides a valuable North Star for Delaware as we combat this harrowing epidemic.

For more information on prevention, addiction, treatment and recovery, please visit HelpIsHereDE.com. Individuals who are suffering from addiction can also call DHSS’ 24/7 Crisis Hotline to be connected to treatment options. In New Castle County, call 800-652-2929, or Kent and Sussex Counties, call 800-345-6785.

Click here to view the Behavioral Health Consortium’s Three-Year Action Plan.

Click here to view the livestream from today’s event.

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Related news:
Delaware Opioid Prescription Rates Falling Seven Months After New Regulations Enacted
In Response to Addiction Epidemic, DHSS Seeks Proposals to Implement Centers of Excellence Model to Improve State’s Substance Use System of Care
Delaware Steps Up Fight Against Addiction; Begins Work to Expand Mental Health Services
Governor Carney Signs Legislation Forming a Behavioral Health Consortium and Addiction Action Committee in Delaware
Governor Carney Signs Package of Legislation to Combat Addiction Crisis