Sun Behavioral Health joins Drug Take Back Day in Georgetown
Area residents can dispose of unused medications, receive training for naloxone use and be assessed for addiction or mental-health problems, all free of charge, on Oct. 26 at Sun Behavioral Health Delaware in Georgetown.
“They can’t dispose of heroin. I had somebody ask that. But they can dispose of prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs, controlled substances. They don’t have to be expired,” Lisa Deal, director of pharmacy at Sun, said about the 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, in which the organization will participate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sun, with 90 beds, opened in October 2018 and is Sussex County’s first behavioral-health hospital, offering both inpatient and outpatient mental health, substance abuse and adolescent programs.
“While people are here dropping off drugs, they can be assessed to see if they would benefit from inpatient or outpatient therapy. With outpatient therapy, they come three or four days a week and have therapy for a whole day, half a day, to help them transition back into the community,” Deal explained.
There is no charge for assessments, and insurance generally covers treatment.
“If you come here, you will get assessed by a licensed clinical social worker. We are open around the clock, every day, for assessments. We never turn away an assessment. If assessment leads to any level of care, we will help navigate the healthcare environment,” Deal said.
On-site naloxone training will also be available on Oct. 26. Also known by the brand name Narcan, the medication counters the effects of an opioid overdose.
“We have staff members to give training. It’s very short, five to 10 minutes,” Deal said.
“As we know, the opioid epidemic in Delaware and in the United States has become a major problem. It’s really critical we have hospitals like this one open to take care of our population. More critical is we need to get knowledge out there, take care of these patients, remove the stigma away from the patients, so they will want to come in and get home instead of staying in cycles of abuse,” she said.
Healthcare organizations are encouraged by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to have a drug take-back day twice yearly, but unused drugs can be dropped off at Sun any time.
“We are happy to dispose of them,” Deal said.
“You don’t want to throw those drugs down the drain, or put them in the toilet. You don’t want them in the waste stream, because we can see very small particulates of drugs in the water,” Deal said.
Once collected, the drugs are picked up by a company that incinerates them.
Also participating in the Oct. 26 national event are the Selbyville Police Department, both at Selbyville Town Hall and at the CVS on Route 54 in West Fenwick; and the Ocean View Police Department, at Ocean View Town Hall.
By Susan Canfora