DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials in Delaware say opioid prescriptions have dropped "significantly" since regulations were enacted a year ago to combat the drug scourge.
Delaware's Department of State said in a press release Thursday that 14 percent fewer opioid prescriptions were written in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. There also was an 18 percent decline in the quantity of opioids dispensed.
Gov. John Carney said the opioid epidemic is still ravaging families across Delaware and the country. But he said the recent changes "will, without question, save lives across our state."
Delaware's General Assembly created the state's Addiction Action Committee last year. It's considering other initiatives to combat opioid addiction. For instance, legislation may require health insurers to cover alternatives to opioids for pain management.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia will receive nearly $10 million in federal grant money to help combat the opioid crisis.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday its second year of funding through the Opioid State Targeted Response program. Virginia is getting $9.76 million.
A press release says recipients used the first year's funding to implement medication-assisted treatment, promote prevention strategies as well as the use of the antidote naloxone, and build sustainable recovery support services.
Opioid abuse is causing deep problems across the country. It is being blamed for shortened life expectancies, growing burdens on foster care systems, and strains on police and fire departments.
Virginia's health commissioner declared the state's growing opioid addiction problem a public health emergency in November 2016.