Delaware Heroin Epidemic

Learn about the heroin epidemic in Delaware

MeadowWood Behavioral Health offers multiple levels of care from inpatient to partial hospitalization programming for adolescents, adults, and seniors. We are the trusted provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment in the New Castle, Delaware, area.

The heroin epidemic is one that has taken the lives of thousands of people nationwide over recent years. For many, what once began as a prescription painkiller addiction developed into a heroin addiction, as this illicit substance became easier to access and more affordable, all while producing the same effects as opioid-based painkillers.

Within the United States, it seems as though every single corner of the country has seen a rise in heroin abuse. New Castle County in Delaware is no exception, as 185 people died of overdoses in 2014 in the small state, which is equal to about one person dying every other day. From January to July of 2015, 78 people died from overdoses, and by the end of the year, a total of 228 had passed from the same circumstances, many of which occurred at the hands of heroin abuse.

Sadly, one of the primary reasons why heroin abuse and overdoses are running rampant through Delaware is because there are very few opportunities for inpatient residential treatment programming in the state. According to Delaware Online, there are only 95 inpatient residential treatment beds available within the entire state. New Castle County police have put forth a program called Hero Help, which sets aside 10 beds at the New Castle County Kirkwood NET Detoxification Center for those who get arrested on minor charges but who want treatment. Unfortunately, this small step forward is not enough to combat the public’s need for treatment from heroin abuse and addiction within the borders of this small state. As a result, many Delaware residents who want treatment are making their way to South Florida (where treatment centers are booming) to obtain the care they need to save their lives.

Despite not having the resources necessary to treat those within their communities who are struggling with this life-threatening condition, the state of Delaware and counties like New Castle are working to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and eradicate heroin abuse and addiction for good. For example, The Heroin Trap is a public awareness campaign headed up by the New Castle County Heroin Alert Program and the New Castle County Police Department. Through this program, the public can get involved and make a difference.

For instance, The Heroin Trap supplies free presentations of their programming for citizens of the state at local schools, organizations, and more. The goal is to help spread education so that heroin abuse and addiction does not develop in those who are currently not using, as well as to help decrease the stigma of heroin addiction on the whole. Also, the Heroin Trap website provides an interactive map where the public can see the amount of heroin-related deaths, heroin overdoses, and heroin arrests in the area. And, possibly the most important feature of all, there is a page on the Heroin Trap website devoted to helping those who want to end their heroin addiction. This page includes educational resources, effects of heroin abuse, and ways to obtain help.

It is critical to know that no matter where someone is within the country, that a heroin addiction can impact them. It is also imperative to know that even if the state in which they live does not have the appropriate treatment resources, that many other states do, and that recovery is attainable and possible.

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