DHSS unveils network of addiction treatment resources

DELAWARE – The ever-growing opioid crisis is once again being placed at the forefront of everyone’s minds as both state and health officials unveil their newest plan to get more Delawareans suffering from addiction the help and services they need to overcome it.

“It is a sad problem we are facing in a small state like this and we should be able to overcome,” explains Dr. Uday Jani, a primary care physician out of Milford, Del.

The numbers are rising, Delawareans are dying. In 2017 alone, 345 people lost their lives to overdoses and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

“We definitely need to get ahead of this because all these young teenagers and young individuals are dying whether it’s opioids or heroin. Everyday the numbers are staggering, they are almost double from two years before.”

In hopes of breaking this trend, Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services is launching a new approach to get those suffering from drug addiction the care they need.

It’s a new online treatment referral system allows people like primary care doctors and first responders to get in touch with treatment recovery centers with the click of a button.

It’s something that’s not so easy right now.

“I’m a primary care physician so the biggest problem I have is to make a referral to somewhere where they can go to an outpatient center to start getting treatment,” explains Dr. Jani.

This START initiative, standing for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery Transformation, would change that. Everyone would be on the same page. It’s something Dr. Jani thinks is a great first step.

“If it’s a comprehensive network where the hospitals are in, the outpatient counselors are in there, the primary cares are involved and if everyone is in the glue, then the patient is better served.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Delaware you can call DHSS’ 24/7 Crisis Hotline to be connected with treatment and recovery options. In Kent and Sussex counties, call 1-800-345-6785 or go online to helpishereDE.com

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Opioid Crisis