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Brandywine opens new opioid treatment program in Georgetown

Brandywine Counseling and Community Services launched the state’s newest opioid treatment program in Georgetown earlier this month.

Brandywine’s decision to locate in Georgetown is part of a broader effort to expand treatment opportunities in central and western Sussex County, which have seen a disproportionate share of the state’s opioid overdoses.

The new facility offers three medications for treating opioid use disorder — a feature especially relevant as the widespread shift to fentanyl raises questions about the relative effectiveness of each medication. The clinic also offers counseling, infectious disease care and a perinatal program, but no detox services.

Brandywine clinical director Adar Wells hopes to enroll 100 patients in the coming year, though she says the clinic could support up to 300. She expects many patients will be employed in physically demanding industries, including poultry workers and truck drivers.

While Brandywine has working relationships with some employers elsewhere in the state to connect workers to treatment options, she says those relationships still need to be built in and around Georgetown.

“Individuals that do a lot of labor-intensive work — they want help," she said. "There are a lot of individuals that drive trucks on the highway. So having an additional provider there for them can make it easier to access treatment.”

But Wells notes treatment options for other substances — including methamphetamine, which makes up a small but growing share of the Sussex County drug market — are still in need of resources. She adds that the clinic also needs Spanish-speaking staff and is offering pay incentives to recruit bilingual employees.

Paul Kiefer comes to Delaware from Seattle, where he covered policing, prisons and public safety for the local news site PubliCola.