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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: February 18, 2016


NEW CASTLE (Feb. 18, 2016) - As part of an expansion of addiction treatment services statewide, the Department of Health and Social Services opened new residential treatment beds this week in Smyrna and Delaware City. The changes increase capacity by 22 percent, with new beds currently available for both men and women who have received withdrawal management services and now need residential treatment to further their recoveries.

The changes that took place this week increase DHSS' total number of residential treatment beds from 78 to 95, with all beds having a variable length of stay. The details:

The changes are included in DHSS' Fiscal Year 2016 budget, which provides for $4.45 million in new state funding for addiction treatment services. The cost of the increased residential treatment services is estimated to be $800,000. In November, Connections opened a new withdrawal management clinic in Harrington. Both the Harrington clinic and the existing Kirkwood NET Detox in New Castle County offer new and expanded withdrawal management services.

Gov. Jack Markell said the additional residential services affirm the state's commitment to build public treatment capacity. "The addiction epidemic has created an unprecedented demand for treatment services in our state," he said. "In November, we added withdrawal management services in Harrington, and these new residential treatment beds are the next step in building a community of recovery in our state. Our goal is to accommodate anyone who needs treatment and is ready to begin their recovery."

Michael Barbieri, director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH), which oversees public treatment and recovery services, said the new residential treatment beds are important to individuals seeking treatment from addiction and to their families. "Too many families have struggled to find appropriate treatment services for their loved ones. This additional capacity is another step in closing that gap in services," he said. "Thanks to the $4.45 million in new funding approved by the General Assembly and the Governor, we will have additional treatment and recovery services in place statewide in the coming months."

In 2014, there were 189 overdose deaths in the state, or about one every other day, with Delaware ranking 10th nationwide for overdose deaths, according to statistics provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2014, there were almost 10,000 adult admissions to DHSS' public treatment system, with about one-third of the individuals indicating heroin as their primary drug at the time of admission.

Barbieri said the next services to be expanded statewide are residential treatment beds for young people age 18 to 25 in recovery from co-occurring disorders (mental illness and addiction) or in recovery from opiate addiction; and sober-living residential beds. Those services are expected to come online in late spring or early summer.

To learn more about treatment, recovery and prevention services and supports in Delaware, go to DHSS' one-stop website: www.HelpIsHereDE.com. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call DHSS' 24/7 Mobile Crisis Services to be connected to treatment services at 1-800-652-2929 in New Castle County, or 1-800-345-6785 in Kent and Sussex counties.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.