The 308 overdose deaths in Delaware in 2016 represented a 35 percent increase from 2015. Almost all of the increase involved fentanyl. Heroin overdose deaths were 184 and 186 in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
In 2016, naloxone – the overdose-reversing drug -- was administered to 1,535 people by paramedics, police and other first responders in Delaware. In the first half of 2017, the antidote was administered to 866 people.
In 2013 the state enacted a 911 Good Samaritan Law which gives legal immunity to people who seek medical assistance when someone is overdosing.
Legislation passed in the General Assembly and signed by Gov. John Carney this year aims to improve people’s access to treatment through insurance. Specifically, the legislation:
• Prevents private insurers from using pre-authorization and referral requirements to delay access to substance abuse treatment.
• Requires insurance companies to cover 14 days of substance abuse treatment before conducting a “utilization review” that can delay treatment.
• Limits insurance companies from denying substance abuse treatment based on “medical necessity” grounds.
• Allows the Department of Justice to use consumer protection funds to advocate for those being denied coverage based on “medical necessity” grounds.