Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: January 16, 2015
NEW CASTLE (Jan. 16, 2015) - With a highly potent and dangerous mix of drugs responsible for overdose deaths in nearby states, Delaware officials are issuing a warning about packets of drugs sold as heroin and stamped with the names of "Power Hour," "Taliban," and "Strike Dead."
There have been no reports of the stamped drugs in Delaware, but Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said she is concerned because New Jersey has reported that in some cases people who have overdosed on the mix of drugs have not responded to naloxone, a drug that can reverse an opiate overdose.
"Hearing that some of these dangerous drug mixtures don't respond to naloxone clearly increases the potential for fatal overdoses," Secretary Landgraf said. "Any drug that you take that is not prescribed for you has the potential to kill you, but people need to be particularly aware of the danger of these drug mixtures. I urge anyone who sees packets stamped with 'Power Hour,' 'Taliban,' or 'Strike Dead' to stay far away from them."
"Anytime you use any type of drugs or drug mixtures that are not prescribed by a doctor you run the serious risk of overdosing, which may be fatal," said Sgt. Richard Bratz, spokesman for the Delaware State Police. "Drug use may cause irreparable damage and/or death. You must use caution and use situational awareness when dealing with drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor."
In 2014, 185 people died in Delaware from suspected drug overdoses, or about 15 per month, according to preliminary reports from the Medical Examiner's Office. By comparison, there were 125 traffic deaths in Delaware in 2014.
In addition to New Jersey, state officials from Pennsylvania and New York have identified the potent and dangerous drug mixture in their states.
The dangerous drugs were identified through the Drug Monitoring Initiative, a collaboration involving various agencies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The collaboration can identify and release information about dangerous drug mixtures appearing in those states.
For those struggling with addiction in Delaware, Secretary Landgraf urges those who are ready for treatment to call 24/7 Crisis Services at 1-800-652-2929 in New Castle County, or 1-800-345-6785 in Kent and Sussex counties. For individuals who aren't ready to talk to someone, Secretary Landgraf urged individuals or families to research available supports and services at HelpIsHereDE.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.