Delaware to Launch Addiction Prevention Campaign in 2017

December 28, 2016

Drugs EcstacyDelaware ranks No. 1 for the rate at which doctors prescribe high-dose opioids compared to the rest of the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s a statistic that is both alarming to state officials and indicative of a larger problem in Delaware, where more than 100 people continue to die of drug overdoses each year.

It’s also one of the many reasons the state Division of Public Health will launch a $250,000 educational community outreach campaign in early 2017 aimed at prescribers, residents and the community at large to fight opioid addiction on the front lines.

The state Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, which the Division of Public Health works closely with, will also use just over $2 million per year for the next two years in federal grants to work on primary prevention and education regarding the misuse of prescription drugs, according to the state.

Drug overdose deaths have continued to grow, and experts openly denounce “scared straight” tactics often used in this programming. The state is actively reviewing “LifeSkills Training,” a school-based program delivered over 3 years that is considered an evidence-based approach to educating and preventing addiction. The program was also cited in the Surgeon General’s report released last month.

This education is imperative, as 90 Delawareans have died of fentanyl overdoses in the first nine months of the year. That doesn’t include the numerous others who have died of fatal heroin overdoses and the hundreds who have been jailed for dealing and using drugs.

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