Delaware Public Media

Div. of Public Health issues warning after three suspected Sussex overdose deaths

Mar 13, 2019

Delaware Public Health and Safety officials are issuing a warning after a series of suspected heroin overdose deaths.

Three people in Sussex County are suspected to have died from heroin overdoses involving the same package.

Delaware’s Division of Forensic Science identified identical stamps on heroin packets found at the scene of each death.  They occurred over the course of five days with the most recent reported Wednesday.

Health officials are encouraging all Delawareans who know someone using opioids, or in active recovery, to be sure they have access to the opioid overdose antidote Naloxone, also known as Narcan.

Last year, Delaware first responders administered Naloxone 30% more times than in 2017.

The state reports 50 suspected overdose deaths so far this year. Delaware’s overdose rate has steadily risen for the past six years with 419 overdose deaths suspected in 2018.

More than half of the state’s overdose deaths in 2017 involved the synthetic opioid Fentanyl—which is 50 times more potent than heroin and is often used to lace heroin packages.

Under Delaware’s Good Samaritan Law, people who report an overdose cannot be arrested for low-level drug crimes.


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