Editorial Submission – Save Your Loved Ones! – 12/17/20

In the course of the work I do, I counsel many, many addicts. All too often I console someone who has lost a friend or family member to addiction. During the pandemic, the use of drugs has increased. Addiction has skyrocketed. Overdose deaths are increasing too. This is no surprise, because the main reason why most people turn to drugs and/or alcohol is to bury/evade/escape some emotional pain or stress, and these are very stressful times.

There is good news, though, and I write with the hope that all who need to know can become aware of it: YOU can order, for free, the very effective life saving drug, Narcan (naloxone). Through The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ (DHSS), Narcan will be mailed, for free, to your home. The life-saving medication can reverse opioid drug overdoses by restoring someone’s breathing that has become suppressed from an overdose, and it has saved many lives.

Says Delaware’s DPH Director, Dr. Karyl Rattay: “Delaware is experiencing a simultaneous increase in COVID-19 cases and drug overdose deaths. Those who need naloxone the most can now order it privately and conveniently, avoiding any stigma that could be a barrier to accessing the life-saving medication. Holding outside distribution events is also becoming more challenging because of the cold weather, making this an ideal option to get naloxone in the hands of those who need it the most.”

A total of 316 suspected overdose deaths have occurred through early December this year in Delaware, which is higher than the number of suspected overdose deaths for the same period in 2019, according to preliminary data from the Delaware Division of Forensic Science (DFS). Since overdose deaths typically spike in December, that number is expected to grow. In 2019, 431 people died from drug overdoses in Delaware, according to DFS.
Most states have similar programs.

Sure, the numbers of deaths pale compared to some other causes, but these deaths are preventable… and YOU can help prevent some! Narcan won’t save everyone, but with just a phone call – to get the medication, google how to get Narcan or call HHS at 302-672-7500 – you may help save a life.

If YOU know anyone using drugs, order Narcan now, and make sure that their other friends and family members also do so!

I offer one more suggestion: tell any addict that if they must get high, do not do so alone. Always have someone around who can provide help or call for help in the event of an overdose!

Ken Abraham, former Deputy Attorney General, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302-423-4067