New data shows increase in overdose-related emergency visits in Delaware
In Delaware, new numbers have just been released by the CDC that show significant increases in opioid overdoses in the state's emergency departments.
It's no surprise to Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services, but they are hoping this new data will help them on their path to a solution.
The CDC found a 17 percent increase of overdose-related emergency department visits in Sussex County and a nine percent increase in Kent from July of 2016 to September of 2017.
Delaware's Division of Public Health tells 47 ABC that the spike is likely the result of fentanyl's introduction to opioids.
And they say that the data makes it clear, the state needs to better equip first responders.
"We call Harm Reduction a huge part of our strategy, which is just, how do we save lives, how do we decrease the harm for those who are struggling? So getting more Naloxone out there and getting it into the hands of those who need it is of critical importance," explains Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director.
DPH is holding a system of care forum next Tuesday at Del Tech Community College in Dover to discuss ways in which first responders and emergency departments can address the current opioid crisis.
Dr. Rattay says they will be discussing practices other states have already adopted, like giving overdose-related patients Naloxone, something Rhode Island already does.