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Delaware State Police

Superintendent Colonel Melissa Zebley

Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Issue Urgent Safety Advisory

Date Posted: Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

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The Delaware State Police (DSP) and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) are urging heightened awareness following a surge in suspected drug overdoses, particularly in Sussex County.

Between April 26 and 30, 2024, troopers recorded a significant increase in overdoses, tragically resulting in at least one fatality and severe medical emergencies. Many affected individuals exhibited symptoms resistant to Naloxone, with some requiring intubation, and experiencing uncontrollable convulsions despite administering anti-seizure medication. Repeat doses of Naloxone may be necessary in these incidents to restore normal breathing.

When caring for someone who may have overdosed, be extra cautious with powdered substances as they may increase the risk of substance ingestion or transmission.

Preliminary investigations reveal that the substances involved were packaged in small, white wax paper bags typically associated with heroin.  Testing is still ongoing to determine the composition of the substance. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

DHSS and DSP urge the public to exercise extreme caution, refrain from consuming unknown substances, and avoid illegal drugs altogether. Individuals struggling with substance abuse are encouraged to seek immediate assistance from medical professionals or addiction support services. To assist those in need, DHSS offers several avenues for support:


  • 911: In cases of overdose or medical emergencies, dial or text 911.
  • Delaware 211: Dial 2-1-1 or visit for free, confidential assistance in multiple languages.
  • Delaware Hope Line: Call 1-833-9-HOPEDE (1-833-946-7333) for 24/7 access to resources, support, and crisis assistance.
  • Bridge Clinics: Explore treatment services and resources in Delaware and neighboring states. In-person assessments are available at locations in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties.
  • Treatment Connection: Find nearby treatment providers at
  • 988: For immediate crisis support, dial 988.
  • Narcan Training and OpiRescueDE App: Information on Narcan training and accessing medication is available online.


The safety and well-being of all Delawareans are paramount, and collaborative efforts are underway to address this critical public safety issue. We urge everyone to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect themselves and their communities.

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