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Addiction and substance use have destroyed the lives of thousands of Delaware residents. Delaware’s alcohol and illegal drug use rates are higher than the national average, but addiction treatment programs are available to help people find recovery.

Substance Use And Addiction In Delaware

More than 30,000 adults, 8,000 teenagers and over 80 percent of the prison population in Delaware suffer from an addiction to an illicit substance. Cocaine, methamphetamines, ecstasy, LSD and other club drugs, including synthetics, are a large part of the problem. However, opioids—both heroin and prescription opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin—remain the top offender.


  • 17 percent of adults in Delaware report binge drinking within the 30-day period prior to responding to a state-sponsored survey.
  • Binge-drinking rates are much higher among young adults aged 18-24 at 30.9 percent and 24-34 at 28.1 percent.
  • 6.4 percent of Delaware’s population reported regular heavy drinking, defined as more than 14 alcoholic drinks per week for men and 7 for women.

These high rates of drug and alcohol use are leading to serious problems for Delaware. The state has seen a steady increase in opioid-related overdoses and now has a rate of 16.9 overdose-related deaths per 100,000 people, which is higher than the national average. The state has also experienced an increase in meth lab operations.

According to the latest data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, less than 10 percent of individuals with alcohol dependence or an alcohol use disorder in Delaware receive the addiction treatment they needed. Less than 30 percent of people with illicit drug dependence or illicit drug use disorder received treatment.

Delaware’s Addiction Outreach Programs

The state has been rolling out more services to address addiction in an effort to get help to those who need it. Delaware offers a comprehensive support plan through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Promoting Optimal Mental Health for Individuals through Supports and Empowerment program. This program works with private treatment providers to assist those with substance use and mental health issues.

Also through SAMHSA, Delaware is focusing on prevention strategies like early-intervention training and education to reduce addiction and substance use or prevent them before they begin. These programs also include presenting addiction-reduction strategies at events such as health fairs, as well as offering training programs to become a certified prevention specialist.

Delaware Addiction Treatment Programs

Treating addiction is not just about stopping substance use and ending physical dependency on drugs or alcohol. It’s also about returning a person to a healthy and productive life that is fulfilling and contributes to long-term sobriety.

According to the National Institutes of Health, drug and alcohol addiction treatment can be very successful if evidence-based therapies are combined with long-term goals. Quitting cold turkey and not planning for meaningful behavioral changes is much less successful. Without a treatment plan, individuals are much more likely to relapse back into addiction. Addiction treatment plans may include detox and inpatient programs.

Drug And Alcohol Detoxification

Before most addiction treatment programs can be started, it’s important that anyone with a physical dependency participate in a fully monitored drug and alcohol detoxification program. Detox allows the body to rid itself of all traces of the substance.

Once the addictive substance is withheld, withdrawal symptoms usually begin. Withdrawal symptoms vary in intensity and duration depending on the substance and the severity of the addiction. These symptoms can be minimized or prevented in a professional detox program through medications and other supplemental treatments.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Delaware inpatient drug and alcohol rehab programs help clients achieve complete recovery from addiction. Clients in residential addiction treatment programs participate in individual and group therapy sessions and recovery activities during the day and live onsite for the duration of treatment.

Inpatient treatment programs encourage a complete focus on recovery and offer round-the-clock support and medical care.

What To Look For In A Delaware Drug Rehab Program

Choosing an effective, high-quality drug rehab program is the most important consideration for anyone seeking recovery from an addiction, as well as for their family and friends who support them. The top things to look for in an inpatient addiction treatment center include a behavioral-healthcare specialization and qualified staff.

Behavioral-Healthcare Specialization

Substance use disorders and mental health issues have historically been treated as separate conditions. Modern behavioral healthcare seeks to understand the connection between multiple areas of behavior and health.

According to the National Institutes of Health, behavioral healthcare includes both prevention and recovery services, addressing both the behavior of the individual as well as any mental health issues underlying the addiction.

Qualified Professionals

From detoxification specialists and certified addiction treatment counselors to qualified medical staff, addiction treatment draws on several disciplines to create one overall strategy that works. Inquire about the staff involved in treatment and check for appropriate licensing and professional qualifications.

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Specialized Addiction Treatment Programs

Because people experience substance use and addiction in different ways, personalized treatment programs are available to ensure therapy is effective.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

Many people who experience addiction also suffer from a mental health disorder like depression, PTSD or even schizophrenia. This co-occurrence of disorders is known as a dual diagnosis, and an effective addiction treatment program will include mental health therapy in addition to behavior therapy. Comprehensive treatment of both the addiction and any other mental health issues constitutes the core of dual diagnosis treatment.

Treatment for Professionals

Some programs are designed for working adults who do not want to endanger their employment or career but who also need to end an addiction. This intensive program offers treatment specifically designed to meet the needs of professionals, allowing privacy and flexibility in addition to effective therapies.

Delaware Addiction Treatment Therapies

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Originally designed for mental health treatment, dialectical behavior therapy is highly effective for those who have substance use disorders. Dialectical behavior therapy utilizes change and acceptance strategies to positively influence behavior.

Complementary Therapies

The recovery process can be greatly aided by complementary treatments like yoga and mindfulness meditation, both of which can help to combat anxiety and give patients more control over their mental and emotional states. Other therapies offered might include acupuncture, journaling or art therapy.

Even sports and outdoor activities like horseback riding and hiking can provide opportunities for clients to enjoy simple pleasures and gain a new appreciation for life. A quality inpatient drug rehab program in Delaware should take advantage of the state’s natural beauty and offer both complementary therapies and outdoor activities.

Delaware Addiction Treatment Program Lengths

Drug and alcohol detox programs may last a few days to a few weeks, depending on the substance and severity of the dependency. Many addiction treatment programs last for 30 days. However, high-quality recovery programs are designed for long-term sobriety and often last 60 days, 90 days or even longer.

After an inpatient addiction treatment program is completed, an outpatient program may follow. Outpatient addiction treatment programs help the client stay focused on sobriety through a support network and continuation of the therapeutic relapse-prevention principles learned in the inpatient program.

Paying For Addiction Treatment In Delaware

Clients seeking addiction treatment in Delaware have several options to pay for treatment. Most people use private health insurance to cover the majority of their treatment expenses.

Health insurance programs offering coverage in Delaware include:

  • Assurant Health
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware
  • UnitedHealthOne Health Insurance
  • WorldIns ExpressMed Health Insurance

Other payment options for addiction treatment include Medicare, private medical loans, payment plans established with the addiction treatment provider, grants and government programs.

Traveling For Addiction Treatment

Many Delaware residents suffer from substance use disorders, but there are many opportunities for those who need help to find the care they need. From state-sponsored crisis interventions to quality inpatient drug rehab centers where a patient can work their way back to long-term sobriety and a fulfilling life, the tools for overcoming substance use disorders are available in Delaware.

However, when seeking help, it’s important to remember that the most effective addiction treatment center might not be around the corner. The benefits of being willing to travel for treatment include:

  • Access to higher-quality care
  • Increased privacy
  • Improved commitment to treatment

Vertava Health offers effective, compassionate treatment in several states across the country, and we can help people find the care they need—wherever they are.