Delaware Team organizes to reduce opioid addictions!

Rick Jensen, 1017 FM / 1150 AM WDEL Broadcast Special

I was reading the Lt. Governor’s report on tackling opioid abuse and wondered if this consortium could really have a positive impact, reducing the hundreds of deaths, thousands of emergency department visits and providing some relief to the thousands of Delawareans suffering from the emotionally draining and debilitating effects from family members and loved ones living the dark, grueling life of a drug addict.

I decided to reach out to the Lt. Governor and members of this consortium who are directly treating and counseling  drug addicts and their families.

Too few addicts are actually seeking treatment, and that’s just one aspect being addressed.

The Lt. Governor agreed to allow me to broadcast an entire three hour program from her office in Dover.

The result of this broadcast is the segments below in which you’ll hear the problems, solutions and goals from the people who are directly involved.

Will this succeed?

Listen and decide.

First, here are some excerpts from the Lt. Governor explaining the organization and process:

In May of this year,  “Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, along with members of the Behavioral Health Consortium, presented Governor Carney with their initial report, a “Three-Year Action Plan,” to confront addiction and mental illness across Delaware.

The members of the Behavioral Health Consortium met for over six months listening to members of the community tell their personal stories and experiences of how the addiction epidemic has affected them and gathering their feedback on how we can improve our behavioral health care system and better serve Delawareans.”

“Creation of the Behavioral Health Consortium was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan for Delaware. Last August, the Governor signed Senate Bill 111, creating the advisory body of advocates, health officials, law enforcement, state leaders, and members of the community to develop an integrated plan addressing prevention, treatment and recovery for mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders.

Governor Carney: “This action plan gives us a path to follow, to directly confront many of the challenges facing Delaware families, to expand access to prevention and treatment services, and to reduce the stigma around mental illness and substance abuse.


Based on the data gathered by the Consortium, and from the voices of more than 600 Delawareans that participated in a community forum process, the report is divided into six main areas of action:

Access and Treatment

Changing Perceptions and Stigma

Corrections and Law Enforcement

Data and Policy

Education and Prevention

Family and Community Readiness


Original Rick Jensen Show Broadcast:  Monday, May 21, 2018

In Part One of the Six-Part broadcast, you'll hear about problems and solutions from Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of Delaware's Division of Public Health and Dr. Sandy Gibney, Emergency Room Physician at St. Francis Hospital.


Listen Here:


In Part Two of the Six-Part Broadcast, you'll hear about problems and solutions from Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long and Elizabeth Romero, Director of Delaware's Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and Co-Chair of the Behavioral Health Consortium.


Listen Here:


In Part Three of the Six-Part, Three Hour Broadcast from the Lt. Governor's office in Dover, you'll hear about problems and solutions from Saad Soliman, a prisoner re-entry specialist and Executive Director at The Peers Mentoring Center as well as recovering addict Joe Anise and Reverend Tom Laymon, Pastoral Director of the Sunday Breakfast Mission.


This is Part Four of the Six-part, Three Hour broadcast focused on Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long's effort to organize medical providers, addiction specialists, law enforcement, educators and numerous nonprofits to create a consortium of providers effectively communicating and delivering services to eradicate opioid addiction in Delaware.

Dr. Terry Horton, chief of Addiction Medicine and medical director of Project Engage at Christiana Care, describes this effective program. Anesthesiologist Dr. Matthew Powell of Christiana Care describes pain-killing treatments that exclude opioids and Kim Jones explains her work to help those struggling with addiction at Gaudenzia in Delaware.


In Part Five of the Six-Part Series, Red Clay Schools Superintendent Dr. Merv Dougherty makes the case for a Recovery High School and Christina School District Senior Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Dr. Michele Marinucci, describes the process of helping students who are abusing drugs


Wrapping up the broadcast in Part Six of the Six-Part Series,

Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long shares her mission bringing together medical providers, addiction specialists, law enforcement, educators and numerous nonprofits to create a consortium of providers effectively communicating and delivering services to eradicate opioid addiction in Delaware. State Attorney General Matt Denn explains the role of his office, using lawsuits to bring justice and monetary compensations to Delaware to provide funding for various opioid-related projects.



101.7 FM / 1150 AM WDEL news will continue to report on Delaware’s opioid crisis. You can track progress through the stories WDEL News broadcasts and posts.

As a talk show host separate from the News Department, I will also continue to follow developments and offer opportunities for you to comment on the air from Noon to 3 PM.


This program was originally broadcast live on 101.7 FM, 1150 AM WDEL on Monday, March 21 from Noon to 3pm.