Program to educate the restaurant industry about opioid overdoses and substance use disorders | News

Mark Black of Brickworks Brewing & Eats in Smyrna holds the restaurant’s Bronze level certificate for the Restaurant Accolade program. Pictured, left to right, are Ronald E. Harper Jr., Black and Jefford McCutcheon.

The Delaware Division of Public Health’s (DPH) Office of Health Crisis Response (OHCR) has launched a restaurant brace program to train and educate restaurant industry personnel on how to reverse an opioid overdose and supporting colleagues with substance use disorders (SUD). The program was developed to help restaurants, hospitality groups and other restaurant industry workers across the state, while working to address the stigma often associated with being SOUTH.

The creation of the Restaurant Accolade program was informed by the results of the first Drug overdose mortality surveillance report released in August 2019. The report more closely informed state efforts to effectively reduce opioid addiction and mortality and treat SUD. The report examined data on drug overdoses that occurred in the state in 2017. The report’s analyzes found that 10% of Delawares who died of a drug overdose in 2017 were employed in the restaurant industry.

“It is heartbreaking to know that of the 447 Delawares who died of drug overdoses in 2020, people working in the restaurant industry were among the hardest hit,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Hard working people in our state should be aware of the steps needed to reverse or prevent overdoses that could affect their co-workers. The Restaurant Accolade program is a great way for companies to take care of their employees and provide employers with a method to stay informed about the opioid crisis.

“Anecdotally, restaurant workers and hotel group managers have noted that there is an increased risk of opioid use among restaurant workers industry-wide,” said Mark Black. of Brick Works Brewing & Eats in Smyrna. His restaurant is taking part “because it’s an issue that we can no longer ignore”.

The Restaurant Accolade program teaches restaurant industry personnel how to respond to an opioid overdose and helps restaurants create policies and work environments to support employees and customers struggling with TUS.

DiMeo's Pizza.jpg

Wenceslao Pinto of DiMeo’s Pizza in Smyrna holds the restaurant’s Bronze level certificate for the Restaurant Accolade program.

Restaurants and food service establishments progress through three levels of hands-on training to receive certification and recognition:

• Bronze Level — Key personnel are trained to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose, administer NARCAN Nasal Spray, and contact emergency medical services (EMS) for further assistance. All trained staff and the facility receive a personal opioid rescue kit. Restaurants that complete bronze-level training receive a certificate of achievement and a bronze-colored window sticker to identify the establishment as a member of the Restaurant Accolade program.

• Silver Level — One to two people in the restaurant are trained to be peer helpers for their colleagues. These individuals are educated by DPH about opioids, addiction, and overdose, as well as key strategies to reduce stigma against people with substance use disorders. Peer helpers will also be made aware of treatment options and local resources for people with substance use disorders so that they can support and assist colleagues who may need these services. Restaurants that complete Silver Level training receive a certificate of achievement and a silver establishment decal.

• Gold Level — General Managers and Human Resources staff receive training and support to develop policies and procedures that create a welcoming environment for people in recovery, combat the stigma of addiction, and promote a safe workplace. drug. DPH works with these staff to assess current restaurant policies and environment and provide personalized assistance to these individuals. Restaurants that complete Gold Level training receive a Gold Award, along with a Certificate of Achievement, a Gold window decal, and an award to present at the establishment.

Several restaurants across the state have already achieved bronze level training as part of the initial outreach conducted by OCHR:

• Brick Work Brewing & Eats, 230 S Dupont Blvd., Smyrna

• The Celtic Pub, 699 Jimmy Drive, suites 6 and 7, Smyrna

• DiMeo’s Pizza, 831 N. Market Street, Wilmington

• Marlena’s Mediterranean, 10 W. Main Street, Middletown

• Trevi Ristorante, 53 E. Glenwood Avenue, Smyrna.

DPH and OCHR have planned a statewide virtual launch to introduce the program to restaurant and hotel group managers this spring. Events will include presentations from Rattay on the current state of the opioid epidemic in Delaware, as well as the work being done across the state to address this issue.

Participants will also receive hands-on training in overdose prevention and naloxone administration and will receive opioid first aid kits. Following these events, OHCR will follow up with restaurant industry participants to provide on-site bronze level training to their restaurant staff. To schedule a facility for training and for more information, contact the Office of Health Crisis Response at [email protected]

OCHR has invited key staff from restaurants, hotel groups and food service organizations to register to attend one of two launch events:

• Wednesday March 23, 3-4 p.m. Register online at for the Zoon event.

• Thursday, March 24, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Register online at The OHCR was created to address the state’s opioid epidemic. Staff work with individuals and community organizations to educate them about the dangers of substance abuse, reduce stigma against people with SUD, and promote harm reduction practices such as the use of NARCAN®, to save individuals life-threatening overdoses and other related health issues. complications. The Restaurant Accolade program is one of OCHR’s next steps in reducing opioid overdoses and SUD statewide. Delaware recognizes and affirms that it is essential to meet individuals in the communities and spaces where they live, work and play.

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Cecil N. Messick