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Delaware announces funding for expansion of drug treatment programs

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(Photo via ShutterStock)

In response to the growing drug use and overdose deaths in Delaware, the State has set aside $4.45 million to increase the availability of treatment services.

Gov. Jack Markell, D-Delaware, joined the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Wednesday to announce the allocation of funds that will pay for the expansion of rehabilitation clinics in Delaware.  

“The addiction epidemic is straining our public system beyond its capacity, with many people turned away for services when they are ready for treatment, or being forced to wait for services or supports to open up for them,” Markell said in a statement.

In 2014, there were 185 suspected overdose deaths in Delaware, or about one every other day, according to the health department. The state also ranked 10th for overdose deaths in the nation.

Almost 10,000 Delaware adults sought public treatment in 2014, with about one-third of those adults indicating heroin as their primary drug at the time of admission, according to the health department.

In response to the growing demand, a portion of $750,000 in funding will be spent on a new withdrawal management clinic in Harrington.  The clinic, which will be operated for the health department by Connections Community Support Programs, Inc., is expected to open within a month.

The other portion will be allocated to Delaware’s other withdrawal management clinic in New Castle County. Both clinics will use the funding to match withdrawal services to an individual’s needs. 

They also will offer 16 beds for clinically managed and medically monitored detoxification; twelve 23-hour slots to allow for stabilization and observation of an individual who might not need a medically or clinically monitored withdrawal program and ambulatory withdrawal management services, which can serve 30 to 100 individuals for 30 days in an intensive outpatient setting.

Another $800,000 will go toward opening new programs statewide by reconfiguring an existing program in Delaware City and opening three 16-bed units across the state. The state plans to increase the number of residential treatment beds from 78 to 95.

The state will also allocate $935,000 to double the number of sober living residential beds from 60 to 120, giving more individuals the opportunity to live in safe and secure housing free from drugs and alcohol.

More than $1.1 million will fund increasing the number of residential treatment beds from 16 to 32 for individuals aged 18 to 25.

The state also will allocate $815,000 one-time funds for startup costs for residential treatment programs.

“We know all too well that addiction is indeed a disease of epidemic proportion, one that does not discriminate and that takes a toll every day on Delaware families,” Landgraf said in a statement.

“With the help of these new state resources, we will continue to embrace communities of recovery such as the one being built in Harrington.”

Department of Correction Commissioner Robert Coupe said the funding for increased addiction clinics also will help take the burden off the criminal justice system.

“For far too many individuals across our state, their addiction is a primary driver of destructive behavior that puts them into contact with the criminal justice system,” he said in a statement.

“Increasing the number of treatment facilities in the community will ensure those who return to the community from a period of supervision by our department will have an opportunity to continue to participate in the addiction-related treatment they need to stay clean and sober, break their cycle of criminal behavior, and support their successful reentry to society.”

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