Coastal Point: SUN Behavioral Health joins Drug Take Back Day in Georgetown

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Area residents can dispose of unused medications, receive training for naloxone use and be assessed for substance use disorder 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 or over-the-counter medications, 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 use and adolescent programs.

“While people are here dropping off unused medications, 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.