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Delaware surpasses milestone for online referrals for substance use and mental health services

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Delaware Public Media
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The Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health hits a milestone of 100,000 referrals for substance use and mental health services.

The milestone was surpassed through its Delaware Treatment and Referral Network or DTRN - an E-referral system for Delawareans seeking substance use and mental health services.

Delaware is the first state to make more than 100,000 referrals using this system.

The DTRN system identifies and tracks behavioral health and social determinants of health resources throughout the state.

Joanna Champney is the Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. She explains how the DTRN system works.

"Providers go online and use the DTRN portal to actually request services for their clients, and then the providers receiving those referrals can provide electronic responses. So we have more than 65 different organizations that are now using that response. So marking 100,000 referrals since its launch and in October 2018 is something we're really excited about."

Champney says referrals have been pretty high through the DTRN.

"Seeing an average about 800 to 900 referrals per week, and so what that tells me is we have a very strong and thriving professional network that is trying to connect clients to the care that they need and so that's helping us to stabilize people who are in active recovery from addiction, people who need services for mental health."

It’s not all good news as overdose deaths in Delaware are still rising, reaching 447 in 2020 up from 431 in 2019 and 401 in 2018.

Of those 447 deaths, 372 involved the use of fentanyl.