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Delaware's overdose commission releases its first report

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Drug Overdose Fatality Review Commission has released its first report after analyzing more than 50 overdose deaths that occurred in 2018.

The commission was created under 2016 legislation sponsored by then state Sen. Bethany Hall-Long. Delaware’s Department of Justice released the commision's first report Tuesday. 

The 23-page document shows most of the overdose deaths studied in Delaware occurred in the victim’s own home. Most of the victims were men, about half of whom had previously experienced a nonfatal overdose, and almost all of whom were not taking medication assisted treatment at the time of the deadly overdose.


In almost all fatalities studied the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone was not available during the overdose, and in most cases a witness was on the scene while the overdose was occurring.


The commission makes nine recommendations to the state on how to lessen the number of overdoses in Delaware, many of which the state is already undertaking.


Those include offering free naloxone, expanding long-term residential addiction treatment in the state and supporting programs in emergency departments meant to connect overdose patients with addiction treatment.


A record high 400 people died of drug overdoses in the First State last year. Delaware’s overdose rate has gone up for the past six years.

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