Wilmington Sees Spike in Heroin Overdoses


The Wilmington Police Department and Coastal Horizons Center are warning Wilmington residents and visitors that heroin overdoses have spiked in the past month. Wilmington Police responded to at least 40 heroin overdoses, 8 of which were fatal, in the last 30 days. We expect there were more unreported incidents. In several incidents the users received life-saving measures from Emergency Medical Personnel and survived the overdose.

The recent overdoses indicate that both recreational and regular daily users of heroin are at great risk of death.

“When heroin overdoses are on the rise, it can mean that inexperienced and recreational users are not able to tolerate the strength of the heroin being sold on the streets. The effects can be life threatening, and those effects can also be further intensified to the point of being even more dangerous with other drugs – including alcohol,” says Kenny House, Vice President of Clinical Services at Coastal Horizons Center.

Even for regular daily users of heroin, or other similar drugs (such as Vicodin and Oxycontin), these overdoses indicate that risk of death are at a high level. Regular daily users are encouraged at this time to seek medical assistance and treatment, rather than put themselves at continued risk. As stated previously, combining heroin with other drugs – including alcohol – puts the user at the highest risk level for overdose and death.

“While we are committed to arresting those who sell and possess illegal drugs we are also mindful of the need for treatment for addiction. We want to encourage heroin users as well as other substance abusers to seek help,” said Ralph Evangelous, Chief of Police.

Wilmington Police Department Statistics

Overdose Totals
2017                      243
2018                     364
2019 (to date)    162

Overdose Deaths
2017                      50
2018                      52
2019 (to date)     28

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