Delaware Public Media

Pew Charitable Trusts interviewing health officials ahead of opioid crisis recommendations

Aug 27, 2018

Representatives from Pew Charitable Trusts are holding interviews with Delaware health officials.  Their goal is to make recommendations to the state on how to more effectively mitigate damage caused by the opioid crisis. 

Pew has offered recommendations to several states on how to better connect citizens with opioid abuse disorder to treatment. Delaware was one of two states selected to work with the agency over the next year.

Josh Rising is the Director of Health Care Programs at Pew Charitable Trusts.

He says Delaware has an opportunity to implement programs that have been successful elsewhere.

“In particular work that has been done in the state of Rhode Island, where they did introduce kind of a comprehensive approach to treating opioid use disorder in the state’s prisons and jails and that has resulted in an overall decrease in the state’s death rate,” said Rising.

Delaware has the ninth highest death rate from opioid overdoses in the nation.

Rising says they’ve already interviewed Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Director of Public Health Dr. Karyl Rattay and Director of Substance abuse and Mental Health Elizabeth Romero.

Romero says one option discussed was starting new partnerships between the state and commercial insurers

“So there’s lots of partnership opportunities in which to ensure that they know about the resources that are available in the state and communicating that with someone who they might be case managing from the private insurance side,” said Romero.

Pew Charitable Trusts plans to make more specific recommendations building upon a Johns Hopkins study on Delaware released last month.

Rising says they intend to deliver their recommendations to the state in time for the next legislative session.