Surviving and overcoming addiction: community engagement session held in Wilmington

Participants in Wednesday's addiction community engagement session in Wilmington were able to learn about the overdose-reversing drug Narcan.

After an especially deadly weekend in late November, Delaware's opioid addiction crisis is being met head-on. 

Part of the state's initiative to combat the problem is a series of community engagement sessions, one of which was held Wednesday at the West End Neighborhood House in Wilmington. About 40 inpatient and outpatient treatment providers, recovery specialists and professionals met with visitors and each other to share stories and strategies.

The afternoon also included a training session in how to administer the overdose reversing drug Narcan.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, 11 overdose deaths were reported statewide. 

There was general agreement: kicking an addiction is tough, but possible.

"Opioid addiction, because of some of the withdrawal problems, people get very sick and it's very hard to get off of opioids," Christopher Knox of the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health said. "Plus, you build up a tolerance to it over time, so you increasingly need more and more of the opioids to get the desired effect."

An addiction does not just affect the addict - it impacts entire families.

"Our philosophy is substance abuse or trauma, any type of challenges that families experience, they trickle down from one generation to another," Dr. Misbah Qureshi of Connections Community Support said. "We're targeting the family system as an entirety."

A third engagement session is scheduled for Thursday December 14t from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown.

Additional help is available anytime by calling The Delaware Health and Social Services' Crisis Services Hotlines:

  • New Castle County: 1.800.652.2929
  • Kent and Sussex: 1.800.345.6785

Information on addiction and resources is also available at www.helpisherede.com

Reporter - Anchor

Mark Fowser is a veteran journalist in Delaware.