BCCS CEO Dr. Lynn Morrison: A Look Back on 2023 – Big Steps Forward But Much More to Do

A Look Back on 2023: Big Steps Forward But Much More to Do

By Lynn Morrison, CEO

As I look back on 2023, I see a year of big steps forward in how Brandywine Counseling and Community Services reaches out to our clients and how the community and our leaders are responding to both the opioid epidemic and the mental health crisis.

With our partners, we helped expand access to life-saving harm reduction initiatives, including Narcan (naloxone), test strips, and clean syringes.. We were an integral member of a coalition with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office to make Delaware the first state in the nation to offer test strips that detect the presence of both fentanyl and xylazine. There’s much more to do, and the importance of harm-reduction efforts can not be overemphasized. However, it is gratifying to see increased recognition that harm reduction is a vital part of how we as a community respond to the opioid epidemic and substance use disorders. 

Our partnership with CHESS Health made on-demand, online support available to those in treatment and recovery. I have no doubt that access to support whenever and wherever clients need it will increase the successful treatment of substance use disorder and other behavioral health challenges. This program was a first in the state, and I hope it will become a model throughout the behavioral health community. I believe this is just the start of how innovative approaches and new technology will advance treatment and support. 

We expanded services at our Dover Treatment Center and now offer medically assisted treatment (MAT) for those with opioid use disorders at all our locations. I’m also excited by our plans to further increase access within our communities.

Of course, one of the biggest stories of 2023 was the $750,000 grant we received to reach our most vulnerable clients by implementing Continuous Community Care Mobile Treatment (CCMT). Another first-of-its-kind program in Delaware, CCMT creates a model for integrating medical providers and behavioral health professionals in a holistic approach.

Finally, I was honored to represent BCCS at the annual Attack Addiction Be A Hero gala. This affirmed that BCCS is both the most trusted and the leading source of substance use disorder programs in Delaware. It showed that we are at the forefront of harm reduction efforts. It underscored that our efforts in prevention, diversion, peer programs, treatment, and mobile outreach are changing lives. It also demonstrated that organizations and agencies across Delaware are united in our efforts. 

I am so appreciative that our state leaders, including Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long and our Congressional delegation, as well as state agencies and the healthcare community, have prioritized addressing substance use disorders and behavioral health. This compassionate yet impactful effort is exactly what we need to care for individuals and strengthen communities. And I am thankful to everyone who supports BCCS through donations and volunteerism. 

As I look ahead, the challenges can seem overwhelming: Delaware’s alarmingly high rate of drug-related overdoses, ever more deadly illicit drugs, one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in the nation, and the fact that one in five American adults experiences mental health issues. But when I look back on 2023, I see the big steps we’ve made. And I remind myself of two of the tenets of recovery, “one day at a time” and “progress, not perfection.”

With your support, we will continue the progress.

I hope your New Year is one of health and wellness. 

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