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DHSS Press Release

Molly Magarik, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: Jill.Fredel@delaware.gov

DPH Media Contact:
Tim Turane
Email: DPHMedia@Delaware.gov

Date: September 20, 2022


Dover, DE (Sept. 20, 2022) - The Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing their youth-led #MyReasonWhyDE campaign. #MyReasonWhyDE asks Delaware youth to make short Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos that promote the positive aspects of their lives that keep them happy, healthy, and drug-free, engaged citizens. Using the collective campaign ad model, like the "Got Milk?" ads, #MyReasonWhyDE is featuring the youth in our community as influencers providing a diverse set of "reasons" to choose not to use drugs.

The #MyReasonWhy campaign is part of DPH's long-term strategy to work with partner organizations in the community and state, such as school systems, to promote resiliency and positive messaging. Youth who are interested in creating a PSA video should visit MyReasonWhyDE.com.

Through federal Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funding, DPH teamed up with The Cause to facilitate a series of four workshops throughout the state to create the summer PSA series to educate youth on Substance Use Disorder (SUD). At the upcoming #MyReasonWhyDE celebration event, DPH will be announcing the PSAs that have met the challenge of communicating information and resources about SUD, as well as highlight the reason why youth have chosen to be drug-free and live positive lives. This event will be held on Sept. 22 at the Bellevue Theater in Wilmington's Bellevue Community Center, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and the live show beginning at 6:00 p.m. All ages are welcome to attend. To register to attend in person, go to https://forms.gle/BZ7sS8TG3bDrngTK9 and to register to attend virtually, go to https://causetheworld.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAkcu2vrzgoHdcamHl3Q8a6kcXKKX9qjTXF.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH, 2018-2019), approximately 4% of all people aged 12 and older used an illicit drug (not including marijuana) in the past month in Delaware. Broken down by age, 2.44% of Delaware youth between ages 12 to 17, 6.67% of adults ages 18 to 25, and 3.79% of adults aged 26 and older reported using an illicit drug such as cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or methamphetamine, or misusing prescription psychotherapeutics in the past month.

The 2020 Delaware School Survey (DSS) indicates that 2% of 8th grade students reported use of an illicit drug (other than marijuana) in the past month and 5% within the past year. One in ten students reported misuse of prescription and over-the-counter medication (including pain medication) within the previous year. Yet less than half (46%) of 8th graders reported perceiving a great risk in misusing prescription medication.

It is important to educate our youth and provide alternative choices to drugs. DPH is continuing to look for partners to help grow this message. If interested, contact Katie Capelli at katie.capelli@delaware.gov

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Delaware, call DHSS' 24/7 Crisis Hotline to be connected to treatment and recovery options. In New Castle County, call 1-800-652-2929. Or in Kent and Sussex counties, call 1-800-345-6785. For free 24/7 counseling, coaching, and support, as well as links to mental health, addiction, and crisis services call the Delaware Hope Line at 833-9-HOPEDE. To search online for treatment and recovery services in Delaware or nearby states, visit HelpIsHereDE.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.