Delaware health officials are urging families of loved ones struggling with addiction to seek treatment following close to a dozen overdose deaths over the holiday weekend.
Since Wednesday, 11 individuals have died in the state from suspected overdoses, raising the total number of suspected overdose deaths to 215 this year.
Of the 11 men and women between the ages of 23 and 62 who died from suspected overdoses this weekend, eight were in New Castle County and three were in Kent and Sussex counties.
Last year, 308 people died from overdoses in Delaware—up 35 percent from 228 people in 2015.
“We know that people who are suffering from addiction are vulnerable, and those vulnerabilities often become heightened during the holidays,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker in a statement.
“The holidays can be stressful and may be a trigger point for people struggling with substance use disorder. The most important thing that families can do is to help their loved ones find a connection to treatment and to get them to that initial intake.”
The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health is hosting free addiction-related community sessions that connect the public with health experts. Participants also will be able to learn how to use the overdose-reversing medication naloxone.
The public can attend any of the following sessions between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.:
- Kent County: Thursday, Nov. 30, Delaware Technical Community College, Terry Campus, Corporate Training Center, 100 Campus Drive, Dover.
- New Castle County: Wednesday, Dec. 6, West End Neighborhood House, 710 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington.
- Sussex County: Thursday, Dec. 14, Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus, Carter Partnership Center, 21179 College Drive, Georgetown. Individuals in active substance use also can call DHSS’ 24/7 Crisis Services Hotline at 1-800-345-6785 in Kent and Sussex Counties, and at 1-800-652-2929 in New Castle County.
- Individuals and families also can visit DHSS’ website www.HelpIsHereDE.com for addiction treatment and recovery services in Delaware and nearby states.
- For more information contact the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Training Office at 302-255-9480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org