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Substance Abuse and Mental Health

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Delaware Opioid Metric Intelligence Project

  • Tammy Anderson, Primary Investigator
  • Daniel O’Connell, Co-Investigator
  • Melissa Ziegler, Data Analyst
  • Bill Flynn, Data Analyst
  • Jascha Wagner, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Jim Highberger, Data Analyst
  • Inititated: 2018; Funding source: National Institute of Justice

The Delaware Opioid Metric Intelligence Project (DOMIP) – seeks to improve timely drug intelligence and community surveillance capabilities in Delaware to help reduce its opioid, heroin, and related problems.  DOMIP will achieve this by organizing Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) data into a more user-friendly framework, then enhancing the dataset with public health (substance abuse, drug diversion, overdose deaths) and criminal justice (e.g., offenses and arrests for drug-related crime) metrics.  The resultant six-year (2013-2018) integrated data will allow for unprecedented community surveillance, statistical analysis and mapping of a wide range of opioid and crime-related metrics, leading to measurable impacts on drug market and drug diversion activities, public health risk factors, and high risk opioid prescribing.

DOMIP will also provide accessible community data on an open web portal ( and an interactive app for use by policy-makers, practitioners, and civilians.  DOMIP will allow queries on opioid and crime metrics and proactively produce alerts on risk indicators, maps of affected areas, and reports on emerging trends. We also plan to add community “assets” or resources (e.g. number of treatment beds, EMS services, 12 Step meetings, etc.) to the open web portal and interactive app to balance the dataset’s opioid risk factors with “protective” ones.  Therefore, DOMIP will not only improve and expand drug intelligence and community surveillance for the adaptation of best practices for state agencies and community providers, it will also increase opioid-related awareness and services for the public.

Expanding the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP)
  • Tammy L. Anderson, Principal Investigator
  • Steven S. Martin, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Guanwen Qi, Research Associate
  • Initiated: 2014; Funding Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The purpose of this project is to expand UD's Delaware Drug and Alcohol Tracking (DDATA) established process to include Delaware PMP data. It will add important geocoding information, via GIS census tract coding at the University of Delaware, to the Delaware PMP data so existing federal data efforts, and others at the state level, can be merged to improve states’ ability to identify and combat their health-related problems. Geocoding will allow the overlay of census, crime, and other health data onto the PMP, providing the means for proactive research and surveillance to better inform public policy. The resulting product will provide information of immediate interest and utility for policy changes in Delaware and will also serve as a national model for structural changes in PMP, its linkage with other data, and its use in surveillance and research.

CJC Board Presentation.pdf

Opioid.Benzo overlap deaths.pptx

Delaware’s Strategic Prevention Framework – Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) Community Evaluation Team (CET)

  • Laura Rapp, Principal Investigator
  • Steven S. Martin, Lead Evaluator
  • Sharon Merriman-Nai, Evaluator
  • Dana Holz, Evaluator
  • Darryl Chambers, Evaluator
  • David Borton, Data Analyst
  • Robyn Blake, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Shannon Streisel, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Initiated: 2015; Funding Source: SAMHSA through Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

SPF-PFS grant programs aim to reduce substance misuse and strengthen prevention capacity at the state, tribe, and jurisdiction levels. They do this by helping grantees leverage and realign statewide funding streams for prevention. PFS is based on the premise that changes at the community level will lead to measurable changes at the state level. Through collaboration, states and their PFS-funded communities of high need can overcome challenges associated with substance misuse.

SPF-PFS is a continuation of the work done under the Strategic Prevention Framework – State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG) (2009-2015) and the goals of the SPF-PFS initiative are to provide funding to the State in order to: (1) Prevent onset and reduce the progression of substance abuse, including childhood and underage drinking and prescription drug abuse; (2) Reduce substance abuse-related problems; and (3) Build prevention capacity and infrastructure at the state and community level.

The Partnerships for Success Community Evaluation Team (PFS CET) provides process and outcome evaluation services for all SPF-PFS funded community prevention Contractors as well as the PFS Management Team at DSAMH. The evaluation services include technical assistance and guidance on the five steps of the SPF Framework: Assessment, Capacity Building, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.  Consequently, the Community Evaluation Team provides guidance, technical assistance, data collection and data analysis that are specific to where each Community/State Contractor is in regards to the SPF process. Additionally, the CET works collaboratively with PFS Management, Community Contractors, and the Federal Cross-Site Evaluation Team to ensure that all process and outcome requirements are met for this project.

PFS Annual Report 2017.pdf

PFS Annual Report 2018.pdf

Project LIFE: Living Is For Everyone
  • ​Steven S. Martin, Principal Investigator
  • Daniel Howard, Penn State, Harrisburg, Consultant
  • Initiated: 2008; Funding Source: Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families

The Delaware Suicide Prevention Coalition’s (DSPC) Project LIFE is a comprehensive, statewide suicide prevention initiative targeting youth ages 10-24. By creating new programming and leveraging existing sources, the DSPC aims to reduce negative behaviors and enhance resiliency in youth most at-risk for suicide. Project LIFE takes a public health and community-based approach to suicide prevention by identifying the broader patterns of suicidal behavior through groups and populations. Following the Guiding Principles of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, DSPC is designed to be a catalyst for social change, with the power to transform attitudes, policies and services. The goals of Project LIFE are to prevent suicidal behaviors by enhancing resiliency, reduce the impact of suicide and suicidal behaviors on individuals, families and communities, and improve access to an availability of prevention services for vulnerable, high-risk individuals.

Suicide Prevention in Delaware 2015.pdf

Evaluation of the Substance Abuse Block Grant (SABG) Prevention Efforts led by DSCYF

  • Laura Rapp, Principal Investigator
  • Dana Holz, Evaluator
  • Darryl Chambers, Evaluator
  • Robyn Blake, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Shannon Streisel, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Initiated: 2017; Funding Source: SAMHSA through Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families

The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) program provides funds to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, 6 Pacific jurisdictions, and 1 tribal entity to prevent and treat substance abuse. The SABG program’s objective is to help plan, implement, and evaluate activities that prevent and treat substance abuse.

In Delaware, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families fund community providers to implement substance use prevention efforts. The major goals of this project are 1) to prevent the onset and reduce the progression of substance use and abuse for youth and their families through the reduction of risk factors and increasing identified protective factors; 2) provide primary prevention activities to prevent substance use and abuse through a comprehensive use of evidence-based strategies including education, information dissemination, environmental, community-based, alternative activities; and 3) build prevention capacity and infrastructure and the community level.

The role of the SABG Evaluation team is to evaluate the prevention efforts at the State and Community level, which include both outcome and process evaluation.  Additionally, the team provides technical assistance to the Community Providers and the State on topics such as data collection, survey design, and logic model building.  The Evaluation Team also provides ongoing feedback to the Management Team on overall progress toward project milestones as well as making recommendations to adjust identified indicators and interventions at the community level.

SABG 2018 Annual Report.pdf

Monitoring Opioids to Reduce Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Informing Policy to Increase Contraceptive Access in Delaware
  • Mieke C.W. Eeckhaut, Principal Investigator
  • Tammy L. Anderson, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Jascha Wagner, Data Manager
  • Elizabeth J. Brown, Christiana Care Health System, Consultant
  • Inititated: 2018; Funding source: ACCEL

The project “Monitoring Opioids to Reduce Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Informing Policy to Increase Contraceptive Access in Delaware” (MORNAS) relies on Delaware Prescription Drug Monitoring (PMP) data to examine how the opioid epidemic is affecting Delaware's population of reproductive-aged women. The main aim is to help reduce the incidence in neonatal abstinence syndrome by identifying opioid risks among women ages 15-45 years, and how policy efforts aimed at increasing contraceptive access can better serve these women in Delaware.  

Delaware’s Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs (SPF Rx)
  • Laura Rapp, Principal Investigator
  • Dana Holz, Evaluator
  • Robyn Blake, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Shannon Streisel, Graduate Research Assistant
  • UD was contracted during Year 1 and Year 3 of this 5-year project for evaluation

Delaware's Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs (SPF Rx) is intended to raise awareness about the risks of sharing medications, and promote collaboration between states/tribes and pharmaceutical and medical communities to understand the risks of overprescribing to Delaware residents ages 12-25 and across the lifespan. SPF Rx is built on a community based approach to prevention and a series of implementation principles that can be operationalized at the Federal, State, and community levels. Funding is provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for the Substance Abuse Prevention (SAMHSA/CSAP). The Delaware SPF Rx is administered by Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DHSS/DSAMH).  The Evaluation Team works with funded community agencies and the State to evaluate ongoing prevention efforts funded through SPF Rx.  The Evaluation Team tracks and reports on process and outcome measures using data from prevention activity track tools, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) data, emergency department data, and Delaware School Survey data.  Additionally, the Evaluation Team provides tailored technical assistance to the funded community agencies as they plan and implement their prescription drug abuse prevention efforts.

SPF Rx Evaluation Report 2019.pdf

Hero Help Program Evaluation
  • Daniel J. O’Connell, Principal Investigator
  • Dan Maas, Coordinator
  • Shannon Streisel, Graduate Research Assistant

The Hero Help Program is a “treatment in lieu of incarceration” program that aims to provide treatment to individuals who are addicted to substances and have had contact with, or are at risk of being in contact with, the criminal justice system.  In 2018, the New Castle Police Department hired a Hero Help Coordinator to conduct overdose outreach and to provide assistance in navigating the process of getting clean.  The Center for Drug and Health Studies is responsible for conducting a program evaluation which will compare pre- and post- outcome measures from the date the Hero Help Coordinator was hired, as well as a concurrent control group comparison.  This project includes evaluation planning, data collection, and analyses.  At completion of the grant period a final report will be presented.

Evaluation of the New Castle County Police Department’s Hero Help Program

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  • Center for Drug & Health Studies
  • 257 E. Main Street Suite 110
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-6107