Delaware may be one of the nation’s smallest states–in both size and population–but it has a big substance abuse problem. In 2018, more than 17,000 people were admitted for substance abuse treatment in the state, and many more needed but did not get treatment.

Like other areas of the east coast, Delaware has been hard-hit by the opioid crisis. While national media attention tends to focus on large cities, substance abuse in Delaware flies under the radar.

Here are the top drugs abused in Delaware:

#1: Heroin

Heroin is the most abused drug in the state of Delaware. As the opioid crisis rages on and doctors write less prescriptions, addicts turn to cheaper drugs that are available on the street. This is where heroin comes into the scene in Delaware.

Check out these shocking stats and stories about heroin abuse in Delaware:

  • Over 8,000 people said heroin was their main reason for seeking substance abuse treatment in Delaware in 2018. That’s nearly half of all of the treatment admissions for the state!
  • An 11-year-old was recently hospitalized in Delaware after overdosing on heroin that he found in an adult’s car.
  • People aged 26-30 are most likely to abuse heroin in Delaware. In fact, this age group makes up for more than a quarter of all heroin abuse in the state.

#2: Alcohol

People tend to forget that alcohol is a very addictive and dangerous substance, just because its use is so common in the U.S. In Delaware, alcohol accounts for a huge part of the substance abuse issue.

Take a look at these stats for Delaware, which tell the real story behind alcohol abuse:

  • Alcohol was listed as a major reason for seeking substance abuse treatment by more than 16% of all people admitted to treatment centers in Delaware in 2018.
  • In a recent survey, more than 15% of high school students said they binge drank in the month prior.
  • Men are way more likely to have alcohol abuse issues in Delaware than women. In fact, about 3 out of every 4 people treated for alcohol abuse in the state was male.

#3: Prescription Opioids

The opioid epidemic began because of the abuse of prescription opioids such as morphine, Vicodin, and OxyContin. Although strides have been made to make these drugs less readily available, the crisis continues.

In Delaware, the stats tell the story when it comes to the abuse of prescription opioid drugs:

  • The rate of opioid prescriptions has decreased in Delaware every year from 2010 – 2017.
  • Still, these drugs remain a huge problem in the state. They accounted for at least 6% of all treatment admissions in Delaware in 2018.
  • Delaware adults between the ages of 26 and 35 appear to be the most likely to abuse these drugs.

#4: Marijuana

Marijuana is still not legal in the state of Delaware, but its use has been mostly decriminalized in the state. As pot use is legalized in states across the country, the public view of this drug has changed a lot.

People now see pot as a non-addictive, fun substance with few consequences. Unfortunately, people do not understand that pot abuse and addiction are common problems. Delaware is no different in this respect.

  • More than 1,000 people went to substance abuse treatment in Delaware in 2018 because of their marijuana use.
  • People between the age of 21 and 30 in Delaware struggle with marijuana abuse most.
  • 44 percent of Delaware high school students say they have used pot. This is a far higher rate than the national average of 36 percent.

#5: Cocaine

When people think of cocaine abuse in the U.S., they tend to think back to the 1980’s, when this drug ravaged entire areas of the country. But cocaine’s presence in many areas is still strong today.

Cocaine is a very dangerous drug because it is extremely addictive and can lead to an increased tolerance very quickly. This is a recipe for overdose. Thousands of people have died from a cocaine overdose in the U.S.

Check out these stats and stories about cocaine in Delaware:

  • Almost 1,000 people listed crack or cocaine as their main reason for seeking treatment in Delaware in 2018.
  • A Delaware couple was recently arrested for having cocaine, crack, and guns in an apartment that also had three children in it.

Get Treatment for Substance Abuse in Delaware

Drug abuse is common in Delaware, but there are plenty of treatment options. If you have substance abuse issues, you need to get treatment. Addictions rarely go away on their own, and matters are likely to get worse before getting better.

Call Rehab Adviser to find out how you can turn your life around today.


  1. After child accidentally overdoses on heroin, 31-year-old man arrested on related drug charges. (2019, November 2). Retrieved from
  2. DASIS Quick Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. Delaware Adolescent Substance Abuse Facts. (2019, May 1). Retrieved from
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, May 22). Delaware Opioid Summary. Retrieved from

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