Eleven die in Delaware from likely overdoses over holiday weekend

DOVER — Eleven people died in Delaware of suspected drug overdoses between Wednesday and Monday. The Department of Health and Social Services announced Monday 11 people, ranging from ages 23 to 62, died from overdoses over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We know that people who are suffering from addiction are vulnerable, and those vulnerabilities often become heightened during the holidays,” DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker said in a statement.

“The holidays can be stressful and may be a trigger point for people struggling with substance use disorder. The most important thing that families can do is to help their loved ones find a connection to treatment and to get them to that initial intake.”

A total of 215 people have died from suspected overdoses in Delaware this year. Three hundred eight died in 2016.

The Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health will host a series of addiction community forums, offering opportunities to learn about treatment and support.

The first event will take place from 2 to 7 Thursday at Delaware Technical Community College’s Terry Campus’ Corporate Training Center, located at 100 Campus Drive in Dover. On Dec. 6, individuals can gather at West End Neighborhood House at 710 N. Lincoln St. in Wilmington from 2 to 7. Dec. 14 will see another session taking place from 2 to 7 at DelTech’s Owens Campus’ Carter Partnership Center at 21179 College Drive in Georgetown.

Drug users can call DHSS’ 24/7 Crisis Services Hotline to be connected to trained crisis professionals who can discuss treatment options. In Kent and Sussex counties, the number is 1-800-345-6785. In New Castle County, the number is 1-800-652-2929.

For more information about the community engagement sessions, contact the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Training Office at 255-9480 or dsamh.training@state.de.us

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