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Highmark hands out grants to battle opioid crisis

Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield Delaware gives grants totaling $1.1 million to eight groups fighting the opioid crisis locally.

The grants will allow recipients to expand their services.


Attack Addiction is among the groups receiving funds.  It will use some of its money on an existing program that provides naloxone treatments and training.  It also plans to establish a housing program in Sussex County that provides safe drug free homes for individuals in recovery - replicating a program already in New Castle County.

"It gives us further opportunity to save lives here in Delaware and the last grant we received from Highmark we gave out 650 kits of naloxone in the state so we know we saved a lot of lives there," said Attack Addiction board member Dave Humes.

Peggy Geisler is the Executive Director of the Sussex County Health Coalition. She says the additional dollars will help it implement strategies and family support in Sussex County.

"It's really about us embracing it in community as a holistic approach making sure that each one of those areas whether it's prevention, education, treatment, or support are sort of aligned to really help the community move forward and address this addiction issue," said Geisler.

The Boys and Girls Club of Delaware is also receiving a postion of the grant funding.  Its money will serve area youth between 5-and-18-years-old, providing them access to interventions and prevention resources while educating them about the consequences of drug use and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.

"This grant is really timely it's going to really help us continue some programs that we've always kind of been a part of what we do with our kids," said Boys and Girls Club of Delaware president John Wellons. "But this really helps us build on some of our past grants that have run out and expired to address prevention opportunities with our young people to help them with life skills decisions."


Other organizations receiving grants include Jewish Family Services, the National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor (NCALL) Research Fund, Triad Addiction Recovery Services, the Bellevue Cause Community Network, and Friendship House.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.