Delaware's Opioid Crisis Loading

Delaware's Opioid Crisis

Almost every day, a Delawarean dies from a drug overdose.* State of Delaware graphic
*Delaware Epidemiology, Health Data, and Informatics Section. Drug Overdose Mortality Surveillance Report, Delaware, 2017. Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, August 2019.
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1 What is the scope of Delaware’s drug overdose crisis?
Person looking at pills in hands
2000-2017 | Delaware residents Drug Overdose Deaths By drug overdose death rates alone, the crisis continues to escalate. Drug overdose death rates in Delaware have increased five-fold from 2000 to 2017.
2011-2017 | Delaware residents Drug Overdose Death Rates by Sex
2011-2017 | Delaware residents Drug Overdose Death Rates by Drug Type Opioids are fueling the overdose death rates in Delaware with a drastic increase in synthetic opioids in recent years.
2 Who is dying from drug overdoses?
Construction worker with head in hands
2017 | Delaware Residents Sex

67% people who died from a drug overdose identified as Male

33% people who died from a drug overdose identified as Female

2017 | Delaware Residents Sex: Male Employment

36% of males who died from an overdose were in construction jobs.

2017 | Delaware Residents Sex: Female Employment

33% of females who died from an overdose were not employed.

Age

3 out of 4 were aged 25 to 54 years old at death.

Group of 4 people, 3 colored and 1 not (3 out of 4)

General Health

4 out of 5 interacted with a health system* in the year prior to death.

Group of 5 people, 4 colored and 1 not (4 out of 5)
28% had past or present hepatitis C infection.

*Delaware health system interaction was defined as a decedent's use of, encounter, or interaction in Delaware with at least one of the following: a visit to a Delaware emergency department (ED), an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) encounter, a prescription in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), treatment or services administered by a Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) contracted site, and discharge from a Delaware hospital.

3 Where are overdose deaths occurring?
Nurse or doctor making note on patients chart within hospital room
2017 | United States Residents National Drug Overdose Deaths 70,237 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2017 at an age-adjusted rate of 21.7 deaths per 100,000. Source: CDC
2017 | Delaware Residents Drug Overdose Deaths by County Delaware has the sixth highest drug overdose death rate in the country with an age-adjusted drug overdose mortality rate of 37 per 100,000 in 2017. All three counties have rates higher than the national rate. New Castle County's is the highest with 43 deaths per 100,000.

Drug Overdose Deaths by County

New Castle County
43
Kent County
25
Sussex County
35

2017 average age-adjusted rate per 100,000 persons

Drug Overdose Deaths by County

2017 | Wilmington Residents Drug overdose death rates in Wilmington The City of Wilmington has the highest known rate in Delaware with 66* deaths per 100,000.

*Delaware Epidemiology, Health Data, and Informatics Section. Drug Overdose Mortality Surveillance Report, Delaware, 2017. Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, August 2019.

Drug overdose death rates in Wilmington

Wilmington
66

2017 average age-adjusted rate per 100,000 persons

4 Is there an end in sight?
Close image of prescription bottles in hands
2017 | United States Residents People who filled any opioid prescription in the US The average national prescription rate is 58.7 per 100 people Source: CDC
2012-2019 | Delaware Residents People who filled any opioid prescription in Delaware Delaware’s prescription rate of 68.3 prescriptions per 100,000 persons in 2017 was above the national average, but rates have been declining.

People who filled any opioid prescription in Delaware

New Castle County
39
Kent County
43
Sussex County
52

2017 average age-adjusted rate per 100,000 persons

People who filled any opioid prescription in Delaware

5 What is Delaware doing to combat the opioid crisis?
Doctor speaking with patient in examination room
Pharmacist looking over collection of medicine bottles
2012 Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) started
Frame of video on Help is Here website
Oct 2014 Help is Here Launched

Help is Here is launched as a single point where Delawarians can visit for resources to aid in their personal fights with the opioid crisis.

Nalaxone administration kit
July 2017 Community access to naloxone is expanded

The opioid overdose-reversing medication naloxone became available without an individual prescription at all of the 20 CVS Pharmacy locations in Delaware, including those located inside Target stores.

Delaware governor signing bill, surrounded by public officials
Sep 2018 Comprehensive package of legislation passed to support efforts
  • Establishes nation's first overdose care system
  • Increases education about alternative pain management
  • Data sharing between public health and Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP)

Listen to a WHYY report about the bill's signing

Screen capture of OpiRescure app 1 Screen capture of OpiRescure app 1 Screen capture of OpiRescure app 3
March 2019 OpiRescue app released to public

As part of its multi-pronged approach to addressing the opioid crisis and reducing the number of individuals dying from drug overdoses in Delaware, the Division of Public Health (DPH) announced the launch of a new smartphone app that provides lifesaving step-by-step instructions on how to use naloxone during an opioid overdose.

Pages of Surveillance report
Aug 2019 Surveillance report released

Report released summarizing data collected by DHSS in 2017. It highlights the negative impacts of the opioid crisis in the State of Delaware and the importance of the State’s action to fight it.

6 Where can people get help?
Two people (father and son) embracing