Delaware Reports 308 Overdose Deaths in 2016 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Reports 308 Overdose Deaths in 2016

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(Photo: CBS) (Photo: CBS)

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP/WBOC)- Delaware public health officials are reporting what they call an alarming increase in deadly drug overdoses.
    
The Department of Health and Social Services said in a news release Tuesday that there were 308 drug overdose deaths in 2016. In 2015, 228 people died from overdoses in Delaware.
    
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported death rates from synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, increased 72 percent from 2014 to 2015. In Delaware, the number of fentanyl-related deaths soared by 180 percent from 15 deaths in 2012 to 42 deaths in 2015. From 2015 to 2016, the rate almost tripled, increasing by 186 percent. 
    
Officials say fentanyl is a synthetic painkiller that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin. It can be ingested alone, or mixed with cocaine or heroin.

Residents can visit DHSS' website, www.HelpIsHereDE.com, for addiction treatment and recovery services in Delaware and nearby states. People who see someone overdosing are advised to call 911. Under Delaware's 911/Good Samaritan Law, people who call 911 to report an overdose and the person in medical distress cannot be arrested for low-level drug crimes.

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