The state Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) in Delaware reported death of 11 people due to drug overdoses over the Thanksgiving weekend. The latest fatalities have taken the drug overdose death toll in the state in 2017 to 215. The deaths occurred across all counties and genders.
According to Dr. Kara Odom Walker, secretary of the DHSS, Thanksgiving could be a vulnerable time for individuals grappling with an addiction. “The holidays can be stressful and may be a trigger point for people struggling with substance use disorder,” she said. As a resolution, she feels that the best families can do is to “help their loved ones find a connection to treatment and to get them to that initial intake.” However, no pattern or connection was found in these deaths, unlike previous spikes this year, which the state officials had attributed to heroin.
New Castle County saw eight deaths, the highest in a single area during the extended weekend. Three people died in Kent and Sussex counties. All those who died were aged between 23 and 62 years, the state report revealed. Officials warned that the figures this year may appear lower than last year, but it could be false and the actual numbers might be much higher than last year. “It’s important to be cautious,” said Walker last month. “We obviously want to be optimistic but we’re really close to where we were last year.”
State trying hard to combat opioid onslaught
Delaware is working hard towards helping people overcome addiction and assisting them in finding the right treatment. However, this surge in overdose deaths set the pace back by a few crucial steps.
The state is all set to start a series of free community sessions, courtesy Division Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). Spanning the state, these free sessions aim to bring all stakeholders — treatment experts and local service providers — under one umbrella, apart from propagating information on how to use naloxone, an overdose antidote.
“We’ve heard from people across our state who say they aren’t always sure where and how to access treatment for their loved ones suffering from addiction,” said Gov. John Carney in a statement last week. He also said that such sessions would enable people come in touch with providers and community advocates. They can have their queries answered about treatment paraphernalia. These sessions will surely help them “to figure out which options are best for their particular needs.” Those in need of such sessions can collect information in advance and capitalize on the opportunity, he said.
The scourge of addiction
Addiction is a scourge and has the potential to destroy people. However, with treatment, one can gain sobriety and lead a productive and addiction-free life. If you have a loved one struggling with an addiction, seek immediate help.
Hooked Sober is a source of information on drugs, alcohol, eating disorders and mental disorders. Please send your questions, concerns or comments to [email protected] or speak to a representative at (866) 838-4087.