Mental Health & Substance Use
How are Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Connected?
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, "many individuals who develop substance use disorders (SUD) are also diagnosed with mental disorders, and vice versa. Multiple national population surveys have found that about half of those who experience a mental illness during their lives will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa."1
Why is the SUD crisis important Delawareans?
By drug overdose death rates alone, the substance use disorder crisis continues to escalate. The rate of drug overdose deaths has increased from 6.7 per 100,000 to 48.4 per 100,000 in 2019, which is a seven-fold increase. Delaware has the second highest drug overdose death rate in the country with an age-adjusted drug overdose mortality rate of 48.4 per 100,000 in 2019. All three counties have rates higher than the national rate.
What is Delaware doing to address the crisis?
Delaware's monthly prescription rate of 33 per 1,000 persons in December 2019 was above the national average, but rates have been declining. Beginning with the launch of the Prescription Monitoring Program in 2012, Delaware has been working to address this crisis. Since then "Help is Here" was launched, community access to naloxone has been expanded, legislation to continue to support these efforts was passed, life-saving information has been distributed to the public through the OpiRescue App, and surveillance report data has been released to the public to further highlight the continued need for action.
In a mental health crisis support is here.
Key Data and Reports
Mental Health & Substance Use in New Castle County
The Mental Health & Substance Use area of the site includes the following 9 topics: Mental Health, Suicide, Adult Excessive Drinking, Tobacco Use, Drug Overdose Deaths, Prescription Monitoring Program, Suspected Non-fatal Drug Overdoses, Youth Substance Use, Youth Use of Prescription Pain Meds without Prescription.
Here we highlight one key statistic from each topic. Click "View full report" to see more detailed data for the topic.
Adults who Engage in Binge Drinking
Adults Who Smoke
All Drug Overdoses (all intents)
Filled any opioid prescriptions
Suspected Non-Fatal Drug Overdoses
Prescription Pill Abuse
No data available
Youth Self-reported Use of Prescription Pain Meds without Prescription
New Castle County
Prevention, Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery resources for Delaware
The Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) is located in the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). DSAMH serves the adult (age 18 and older) population in need of publicly funded behavioral health services. DSAMH is organized into three operating units. These are the Delaware Psychiatric Center (DPC) and a variety of community-based Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.
All permanent prescription drop-off locations in Delaware
National Map of Naloxone Locations
COVID-19 and Mental Health
What are the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on mental health throughout the United States. The CDC reported that US adults reported elevated levels of adverse mental health conditions, substance use, and suicidal ideation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2
CDC analyses of high school students found that, in 2021, more than a third (37%) of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year.3
About the Data
This page includes the following datasets:
In the release of this information, Delaware aims to provide information that can be helpful to local communities as they work to improve the public health. However, the protection of the confidentiality of our citizens is of paramount importance. To that end, If a rate of disease is less than 11 iniduals, the rate is not reported. The platform has been reviewed by an outside expert to ensure that they are compliant with The HIPAA Privacy Rule (45 CFR 164.§514(b)).