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Behavioral Health Consortium planning best use for opioid crisis funding

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Behavioral Health Consortium is starting to map out how to best use state funding allocated to combat the opioid crisis.

Earlier this year Gov. John Carney and state lawmakers approved $2 million for health information data collection and another $3 million to prevent opioid abuse and to make treatment more accessible.

Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long chairs Delaware’s Behavioral Health Consortium.

She says the state intends to use some of that funding to expand medication-assisted treatment in state prisons and to purchase more Narcan and clean needles for exchange.

“It is an opportunity—the syringe expansion as well as the Narcan expansion—to actually touch people’s lives to get them into treatment,” said Hall-Long.

The consortium is seeking to implement a list of recommendations made to the Governor earlier this year.  

Hall-Long says other items that could potentially receive funding are inpatient residential beds, intensive outpatient services and a newly hired community health worker.

“The goal would be that the community worker would be accessible in ensuring that persons have the ability to find their way from their front doorstep to follow up care to treatment to services,” she said.

Gov. Carney is expected to sign legislation in the coming weeks that will allow for the creation of a statewide system of care for overdose patients.

Pew Charitable Trust is partnering with Delaware in the fight against the opioid crisis. That group is currently conducting interviews with consortium members.

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