Lt. Gov. Hall-Long helps lead team to combat opioid epidemic.
WILMINGTON, DE – Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long announced a “Bench Opioids” initiative will begin March 8, 2023, at the Delaware High School Basketball Championships as a proactive prevention and drug disposal blitz targeting opioid use disorder and overdose deaths. The campaign will include the distribution of free at-home drug disposal kits at the basketball games.
The effort is being led by the Lt. Governor’s Office and the Department of Education with support from the Delaware Prescription Opioid Settlement Distribution Commission and the Department of Public Safety.
“This is a full court press against opioids and overdose deaths. We have great team combatting the devastating effects opioids, whether prescription or counterfeit, have on Delaware. 70% of teens who misuse/abuse opioids first get them from friends or family. It’s important that we bench opioid misuse and make proper drug disposal as common as buckling a seat belt. I’m excited to see the long-term success from combining prevention, education, abatement, and disposal in an innovative campaign”Bethany Hall-Long
Delaware Lt. Governor
“Opioids can ruin lives from start to finish. I lost a family member who took one bad pill. It’s important for Delaware and especially our younger populations to understand if you aren’t prescribed it, don’t take it and if you don’t use the prescription, dispose of it properly”Randy White
Delaware native and Pro Football Hall of Famer
White and other sports legends will appear either in person or in PSAs during the Friday Night Lights Against Opioids pilot program on March 8-9, 2023, at the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Basketball Championships at the Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware during the boys’ and girls’ high school basketball semifinals.
This is a first-in-the-nation pilot program for high school basketball and is modeled after a successful pilot program this fall in which DisposeRx teamed with National Child ID Program to successfully launch the Friday Night Lights Against Opioids program in Texas.
“We are proud to partner with Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long and Delaware high schools to educate families about the risks associated with both prescription and counterfeit drug abuse and to stress the importance of safe medication disposal,” said William Simpson, president and chief executive officer of DisposeRx, Inc. “Prevention and education are critical to mitigating the overdose crisis as is ensuring communities across the country understand the importance of properly disposing of unused medications.”William Simpson
President and chief executive officer of DisposeRx, Inc.
NOTE: Students, Parents, and Fans will be encouraged to take home a free drug disposal kit and are urged to not bring opioids to the event.
Delaware Opioid Statistics Quick Sheet
Delaware has the third highest per capita health care costs in the nation from opioid abuse at $117 per person and a total cost of $109 million to the state.
Delaware also ranks 3rd nationally for per capita drug overdose deaths.
67% of drug overdose deaths in Delaware were opioid related.
32% of opioid overdose victims were between 25 and 34 years of age.
High school athletes are significantly at-risk for opioid use noting lifetime opioid prescription rates of up to 46% for student athletes.
As many as 92% do not use their full opioid prescriptions and less than 9% properly dispose of leftover medications.
70% of teens say their home medicine cabinets are their primary source of acquiring drugs.
10.1% of Delaware High School students took prescription pain medicine without a doctor’s prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it in 2017.