No Hope in Sight –
September 11, 2018- A record number of people died in Delaware from suspected overdoses in August, according to reports from the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. The monthly total of 39 deaths was the highest since the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) began tracking deaths from suspected overdoses in late 2013. The previous high monthly total was 27 deaths, which occurred in April 2018. “It is heartbreaking and alarming to see so many lives lost to suspected overdoses,” said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a board-certified family physician. “We suspect that many of the overdoses involved fentanyl so we are warning people who are in active use to assume that the illicit drugs they are using contain this highly toxic and dangerous synthetic opioid. Any use of such a substance could kill them.” Fentanyl is up to 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin. If a user has ingested fentanyl or a drug laced with fentanyl, time is critical because the powerful opioid quickly affects the central nervous system and the brain. Users often have trouble breathing or can stop breathing as the drug sedates them. If someone is too drowsy to answer questions, is having difficulty breathing, or appears to be so asleep they cannot be awakened, call 911 immediately. Under Delaware’s 911/Good Samaritan Law, people who call 911 to report an overdose and the person in medical distress cannot be arrested for low-level drug crimes.