Former Gov. Jack Markell addressed the opioid crisis Thursday during a gubernatorial panel at Harvard’s School of Public Health.
Each of the former governors on the panel discussed the issues and shared their state’s perspective on the national opioid epidemic. Markell took the opportunity to commend the efforts of Delaware officials and anti-addiction groups combating the misuse of opioids in the First State.
He says more work needs to be done, but adds the stigma associated with addiction makes treatment more complicated.
“This is actually where we need our very best people, because the complexity of dealing with these issues. I mean, the detox alone; it can be a week, two weeks—the medical management of that. Then dealing with all the family issues, people who have been in denial,” said Markell.
Markell points to the state’s behavioral health consortium headed by Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall Long.
“I think it’s great that Governor Carney has asked Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, who is a nurse, to lead the behavioral health consortium. They’ve gone out and held a number of town hall meetings, gotten a lot of ideas from the public,” he said.
Markell also applauds Delaware’s Department of Justice program, which provides assistance to people struggling to get Medicaid coverage for substance abuse treatment.
Health officials report 30 people suffered suspected opioid overdoses in Delaware last weekend.