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Delaware gets more federal money for opioid crisis fight

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Delaware Public Media
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Delaware is getting more financial support from the federal government to combat the state’s opioid crisis. 

Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) recently received a $5.8 million Overdose Data to Action Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The state is set to receive that same amount in 2020 and 2021.

Delaware's newly created Office of Health Crisis Response (OHCR) is in charge of managing the grant. 

“We are still not doing very well when it comes to our opioid overdose death rate and some of our related opioid prescribing practices in the state, so we actually did get the full amount that we requested awarded to our state,” said the office Director Kate Brookins.

Brookins says the money will go towards existing programs like Naloxone distribution, prescription monitoring and community response. She says DPH is also looking to start new projects including a pilot program to reduce substance abuse disorder in schools, and a public rapid reporting system for overdose events. 

“So developing processes for identifying this information and being able to safely share this information without violating any data-use restrictions,” she said.  

Delaware has the sixth highest overdose rate in the country, according to the CDC.

This latest three-year grant will more than double the amount the CDC has given DPH over the past three years. DPH received $7,392,639 from 2016-2018.

Much of Delaware’s substance abuse programs are funded through the state’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) which received $54,396,050.46 through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) during the same time.

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