Police have seen success in their first few months of using the Narcan to revive victims of heroin overdose.
“They’re victims.” That’s how New Castle County Police Chief Col. Elmer Setting described the hundreds of Delawareans addicted to heroin. “They end up slipping down this slope opiate use…Many of them have nothing to do with the criminal element, they’re just hopelessly addicted to heroin.”
Since county police started using Narcan in mid-May, Setting said officers have saved seven people who were overdosing on heroin. Since the start of the year, there’s been 88 overdose cases in New Castle County.
“We are immersed in a heroin epidemic,” Setting said. “When they are not saved, you see what it brings to their family which is this sad heartache.” For Setting and his officers, implementing Narcan to save overdose victims is another chance for that person to get out of addiction. “Every time you have a save, you hope that person is that much closer to recovery.”
In 2014, Delaware had 185 suspected drug overdose deaths for all substances combined—that’s the equivalent of one death about every other day. Death by overdose was more common than traffic deaths that same year. Of those overdoses, 40 were in Kent County, 40 were in Sussex County and 105 were in New Castle County.
Colonel Setting is the First Person guest on First, Friday at 5:30 and 11pm on WHYY TV.