Hope On Deck Event and OUD Anti-Stigma Project
- We are facing a serious health challenge in Delaware. Our communities are still struggling with the impact of opioid use disorder.
- In Delaware, 537 people died of an overdose in 2022 – the vast majority from opioids.
- Substance use and opioid-related deaths have continued to increase – during and after the pandemic. White Delawareans and New Castle County residents still have the highest overdose rates in the state, but overdose deaths among Black Delawareans and people living downstate are growing at an unprecedented rate.
- Overdose deaths among African American/Black Delaware residents rose from 22% to 29% between 2021 and 2022.
- Even before the pandemic, many people in need of care, particularly people of color, were not receiving treatment.
- The Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health invited interested community organizations to apply for grants to conduct opioid use disorder education and awareness campaigns, focusing on underserved populations.
- As a participating organization, our goal is to reduce stigma around substance use disorder and the use of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
- Too often, the shame and stigma surrounding opioid use disorder – and even medication-assisted treatment – discourages people from getting the help they need.
- People need to understand that opioid use disorder is not a choice – it’s a chronic brain disease. And we have effective treatments available that save lives.
- We also want to promote awareness and access to treatment and recovery services, prevent substance use disorder among young people and adults, and promote training and access to Narcan.
- Hope on Deck is a Delaware nonprofit dedicated to supporting people with substance use disorder in their journey to recovery.
- On Sunday, November 12, we will host an event and interactive display showcasing 537 empty pairs of shoes (many worn by Delawareans who died of an opioid overdose in 2022), along with their personal stories.
- State Representatives Mike Smith (RD 22) and Cyndie Romer (RD 25), and Dawn Sheehan, the Reverend Dr. Ronald Whitaker, and I will talk about the impact of opioid use disorder and unveil the Empty Shoe Project installation.
- We want to give the families who lost loved ones a voice, educate our community about the impact this chronic brain disease can have on our loved ones, friends and neighbors, and stop the stigma that discourages people with OUD from getting the treatment they need and deserve.
- With support from the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and
Mental Health, we’ll also provide event participants with free Narcan training and Narcan kits along with resources to combat the stigma of OUD and find effective treatment programs.
Empty Shoes Project Display by Hope on Deck
Sunday, Nov. 12 – 12:00 Noon – 3:00 PM
Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Banquet Hall, 400 Ogletown Road, Newark, DE 19711