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First State looks to use Pew recommendations to fight opioid crisis

Delaware Public Media

Delaware secured a one-year partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts last summer to develop strategies on how to deal with the state’s escalating opioid crisis.

Earlier this week, Pew offered a list of wide-ranging recommendations including measures to expand Delaware’s substance abuse workforce and make medication assisted treatment with buprenorphine and methadone more accessible.

Delaware Public Media’s Nick Ciolino spoke with Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long , chair of the Behavioral Health Consortium, about the Pew recommendations.

The recommedations come from Pew's initial report based on about eight months of assessment.

Researchers found Delaware tied for the 5th worst overdose rate in the nation in 2017 and less than half of the people in the state who need treatment for substance abuse disorder receive it.

According to Delaware’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the First State’s overdose rate likely rose for the sixth year in a row last year with 419 suspected overdose deaths in 2018.

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