Delaware Bill Creates Commission on Drug Overdoses - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Bill Creates Commission on Drug Overdoses

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DELAWARE - On the porch of The New Street Home in Georgetown, WBOC sat down with a long-time drug addict to speak about his road to recovery. The Long Neck man, who is just 16 days clean, said addiction is a daily battle. 

"You pretty much lose your soul in the heroin addiction," he said. 

And for this man, he said one of the hardest parts involved watching friends and family suffer through overdoses. 

“My girlfriend just OD’d three times in one week," he said. "I had to bring her back to life three times. Right in front of me. Shot up. Died right on the floor on the bathroom."

Now the state is stepping in to try and learn more about stopping deadly overdoses in the first state. Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill into law that created the Drug Overdose Fatality Review Commission. This group of legal, medical, health, and law enforcement experts will be tasked with reviewing all overdose deaths. 

The group's meetings will be closed to the public, and the content will remain classified. Their goal will be to keep track of the number of deaths, and to offer possible solutions to the General Assembly and the governor. 

"We have somebody die every other day in Delaware of an overdose," said Markell. "And it's a tragedy every single time. And the bill that I signed today is creating a group to take a look at each of these deaths so we can start to understand better what we need to do differently to reduce the number of them." 

Many advocates are on board with the action, including Alan Southard, from Kent Sussex Community Services. He said the commission is needed since overdoses are on the rise across Delmarva. 

"It's not an isolated problem here or there," he said. "And it's not just in one town. It's everywhere. And it's all classes of people." 

The commission would review all deaths from prescribed opiates, Fentanyl, and heroin.

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