Delaware Department of Justice Announces Nine Point Plan To Figh - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Department of Justice Announces Nine Point Plan To Fight Opioid Crisis

Posted: 09/06/2017 16:23:00 -04:00 Updated:
Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn is shown Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, speaking on a state plan to combat opioid abuse. (Photo credit: Delaware Department of Justice) Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn is shown Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, speaking on a state plan to combat opioid abuse. (Photo credit: Delaware Department of Justice)

The first state is taking steps to end opioid addiction in Delaware.

On Wednesday, Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn released a third annual plan on additional steps that should be taken to stop an "opioid epidemic that is ruining lives, shattering families, and wreaking havoc on our criminal justice system.” Denn's plan had nine-points, ranging from more state oversight in medication assisted treatment programs to determining the necessary steps to create a recovery high school in Delaware.

“The state has spent economic development funds on all sorts of initiatives over the past two decades, including the expansion and maintenance of other health care facilities,” Attorney General Denn says. “Now it is time to use economic development funds to create jobs in an area where Delaware desperately needs them: substance abuse treatment.”

Wednesday's report comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control stated that Delaware had the highest increase in fentanyl-related overdose deaths in the 22 states that supplied such statistics. Some of those who experience the opioid crisis every day praised Denn's plan soon after it was released.

"People are starting to really realize how bad this is and the fact that the state is now working towards all these facets of addiction is amazing because it's not a quick fix," says David Baugh, the co-founder of Square One DE Inc. "It takes all these different aspects and it takes a lot of work to rehabilitate somebody to get them recovered."

Baugh's organization runs two recovery homes in Seaford. Baugh also serves on B.R.I.D.G.E.S.--an addiction resource coalition--with Pastor Dan Southern. Southern says seeing the report advocate for more treatment facilities and fund more treatment assessment is encouraging.

"We've been repeating this over and over and over in some of our meetings so hopefully this is something coming to roost," Southern explains.

Some of the nine points are suggestions, and others offer concrete dates, such as Denn's plan to fund naloxone for first responders. Denn says by November 30th, they'll have a specific annual amount they recommend the state put in the general fund to pay for police departments' naloxone purchases. 

The nine points are listed in short below. The entire report can be read if you click here.

  1. The State Should Allocate $4 Million In One-Time Funds To Expand the Availability of Quality Treatment Facilities That Allow for Extended Residential and Outpatient Treatment.
  2. Improved Monitoring and Regulation of Existing Medication Assisted Treatment Programs.  
  3. Development of a Recovery High School for Delaware. 
  4. Institutionalization of Naloxone Funding for First Responders. 
  5. Addressing Co-Prescription of Benzodiazapenes and Opioids.
  6. Evaluation of Involuntary Treatment. 
  7. Funding of Support Services to Ensure Coordination Between Actors in the Substance Abuse Treatment Community. 
  8. Expanded Use of Naltrexone for Persons in Corrections System. 
  9. Insurance Coverage For Alternative Pain Treatments. 
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