Del. Overdose Deaths Reach Monthly High In May 2022


Delaware health officials are concerned that more lives may be lost at a faster rate due to overdose connected to deadly fentanyl or the increasing use of cocaine.
According to Delaware Health and Social Services, 42 people died in May of suspected overdoses, based on findings from the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. That is a new record for one month, surpassing the previously monthly high total for overdose deaths set in August 2018 and tied in May 2020.
As of May 31st, 159 people had died of suspected overdose in 2022. A record 515 suspected overdose deaths were reported in 2021.

“We know that more families and friends have Narcan at home or with them to try to reverse opioid overdoses, but, sadly, that cannot prevent every heartbreaking overdose death,” DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik said. “We urge families to convince their loved ones to get connected to treatment resources and services. Medical providers can make that referral or family members can drop by one of our Bridge Clinics to talk with trained counselors.”

“This increased loss of life is heartbreaking,” Delaware Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said. “It is important for the public to know that fentanyl is being added to multiple types of illicit substances and is seen more commonly with amphetamines like cocaine. We know that Narcan can and does save lives, so we urge anyone who is actively using any illicit substances, as well as family and friends, to have Narcan on hand and be trained on how to use the medication. Additionally, we encourage Delawareans to download OpiRescue Delaware, a smartphone app that provides life-saving step-by-step instructions on how to respond to an overdose, including how to administer Narcan.”

There are numerous services and treatment options available, and more information can be found at

More information was provided by DHSS:

Delawareans struggling with substance use disorder also can call DHSS’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health’s 24/7 Delaware Hope Line – a single point of contact where callers can connect to a variety of resources and information, including support from clinicians and peer specialists plus crisis assistance. For support, Delawareans can:

  • Drop by DHSS’ Bridge Clinics for in-person support, including access to naloxone (see locations and hours below).
  • Reach the free Delaware Hope Line at 1-833-9-HOPEDE or 1-833-946-7333.
  • Get behavioral health tips and reminders by texting DEHOPE to 55753.

In addition, under Delaware’s 911/Good Samaritan Law, people who call 9-1-1 to report an overdose and the person in medical distress cannot be arrested for low-level drug crimes.

To find Narcan training or distribution events, or a participating pharmacy, go to, and click on the overdose prevention tab. The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health’s Bridge Clinic locations and hours:

DSAMH Central Office
14 Central Ave.
New Castle, DE 19720

New Castle County Hope Center
365 Airport Road
New Castle, DE 19720
Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

James W. Williams State Service Center
805 River Road, Third Floor
Dover, DE 19901
Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Thurman Adams State Service Center
546 S. Bedford St.
Georgetown, DE 19947
Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.