Local officials seeing increase in fatal overdoses

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. – The National Survey on Drug Use and Health was released on Friday and already here on Delmarva there’s a lot of talk about what it means.

The study focused on the opioid epidemic and found that there’s been a dramatic decline in the number of first time heroin users.

Now while local police and health officials aren’t disputing the findings, they are talking about another opioid trend that is on the rise.

“For us, I think we’ve seen an increase in heroin usage and so it kind of flies in the face of everything you just said,” explains Seaford’s Police Chief Robert Kracyla.

He may not agree with the findings or the trend, but what about local health officials?

“In treatment, we are seeing some indication that is correct because people are coming in who have a longer history of use,” says Susan Harris, Treatment Services Director at Thresholds Inc.

Regardless of who is using or if they’re new to the game one thing the trend can’t deny is the fact that more people are dying because of heroin.

Director for Sussex County Health Coalition Peggy Geisler, explains, “A lot of the heroin coming in is laced with fentanyl and other things that people are taking and it’s killing them and so there’s no way to minimize that risk.

“We’re seeing an increase in heroin deaths or overdoses so that’s where we see it and so we may not be seeing those numbers that are, you know, self admissions of usage. So we’re actually not going to see that person who is controlling their heroin habit,” adds Chief Kracyla.

Both police and health officials say that Friday’s headline is fool’s gold. And tell us that there is a lot of work to be done to restrict a drug that is becoming more and more lethal.

Geisler adds, “What I do know is our state is doing a really good job and locals are doing a really good job around awareness with folks coming out with a unified way to address and provide prevention services and activities.”

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Opioid Crisis