Delaware Addiction Treatment
Delaware is above the national average for illicit drug abuse rates. Several factors have led to Delaware’s skyrocketing rates of addiction and abuse. Major cities with high drug problems, like Philadelphia and New York City, are just a few hour’s drive away, making drugs easily accessible.
Over 9 percent of Delaware residents reported using illicit drugs in a given month. The national average was just above 8 percent.
The most abused substances in Delaware are:
Drug trafficking organizations have started moving to Delaware to conceal their operations from major city law enforcement. In addition, the city of Wilmington’s location off I-95, the East Coast’s most frequently traveled highway, serves as a top intersecting point for drug exchange and distribution.
Another growing concern for Delaware residents is the availability of drugs at Rehoboth Beach during the summer. Police investigations show that Rehoboth Beach is a major hub for obtaining methamphetamine and club drugs, like MDMA (ecstasy) and GHB. Teens and college students on summer vacation seek out these drugs before attending night clubs or parties nearby. Oftentimes these drugs are mixed with alcohol, which can lead to a fatal overdose.
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Laws of Delaware Drug Use
Many of Delaware’s drug laws have underlying exceptions and subjective circumstances that can completely change the course of a person’s punishment. Because of this, it can be difficult to predict exact penalties for certain drug crimes.
Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Possession
Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) is the blanket term used to classify, regulate and monitor prescription drugs and substances in Delaware. Generally, possession for personal use of any CDS is considered a misdemeanor. CDS possession misdemeanors are divided into three categories:
|Class A misdemeanor||Up to one year of prison time, fine up to $2,300 or other penalties as determined by a judge|
|Class B misdemeanor||Up to six months of prison time, a fine up to $1,150, restitution or other penalties|
|Unclassified misdemeanor||Punished determined by terms of pertaining law; if no specific penalty, up to 30 days of jail time, a fine up to $575, restitution or other penalties as determined by a judge|
However, if the CDS crime has any aggravating factors, the judge may determine a more severe punishment. An aggravating factor exists if:
- The offense was committed near a school, park, place of worship or other protected area
- The offense occurred inside a vehicle
- The defendant used violence to prevent their arrest
- The defendant tried to escape in their vehicle while under arrest
- The offense involved a minor at least four years younger than the defendant
Penalties for possessing marijuana can overlap with CDS punishments. For example, possessing between one ounce and 175 grams of marijuana is treated as an unclassified misdemeanor. The maximum fines of possessing more than 175 grams are up to the court to decide.
|Possession Amount||Penalty||Maximum Sentence||Maximum Fine|
|Up to 1 oz.||Civil penalty||None||$100|
|1 oz. to less than 175 grams||Misdemeanor||3 months||$575|
|175 grams to less than 1,500 grams||Felony||3 years||Court’s discretion|
|1500 grams to less than 3,000 grams||Felony||5 years||Court’s discretion|
|3,000 grams to less than 4,000 grams||Felony||8 years||Court’s discretion|
|4,000 grams to less than 5,000 grams||Felony||15 years||Court’s discretion|
|5,000 grams or more||Felony||25 years||Court’s discretion|
Delaware’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) track controlled substances prescribed and dispensed by practitioners and pharmacies. PDMPs provide early warnings of drug trends and identify “doctor shoppers” (people who visit multiple doctors to get more drugs).
Delaware’s PDMP requires all prescription drugs be reported to an electronic database. This database helps prevent the distribution of prescription drugs, which may help limit the number of addictions that develop.
Per Se Standards in Delaware
Every state has laws against driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than .08 percent. But unlike drunk driving laws, driving under the influence laws are difficult to enforce and vary by state. Per Se standards aim to eliminate the ambiguity associated with prosecuting someone for drunk driving.
Delaware is one of 17 states with active Per Se standards, as well as a zero-tolerance DUI policy. According to state law, there is no minimum amount of a drug or substance that must be in your bloodstream to constitute a DUI arrest. In other words, if you’ve taken any amount of drugs before getting behind the wheel, you can get arrested.
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Delaware Addiction Treatment
Delaware has several unique, state-funded treatment options for people suffering from almost any type of addiction. Each type of treatment addresses the whole person by pinpointing the root cause of their addiction.
Delaware’s Army National Guard Substance Abuse Program
Service members who return from deployment have likely experienced traumatic events from combat. As a result, many have become dependent on drugs and alcohol to cope with the stress and pain. The Delaware Army National Guard Substance Abuse Program recognizes that soldiers need special resources to help them overcome addiction.
The ARNG Substance Abuse Program encourages soldiers suffering from addiction to self-identify their addiction to their unit commander.
Soldiers who self-identify are protected by a Limited Use Policy, which limits any negative actions that can be taken for coming forward with their addiction.
The program will then offer referral services to soldiers, including:
- Substance abuse education centers
- Locations of local treatment centers
- Post-recovery counseling service centers
While the ARNG will assist with referral services, it’s up to the soldier to attend counseling and get treatment.
Inmate Addiction Treatment
With over 80 percent of the state’s prison population suffering from addiction disorders, Delaware’s Department of Corrections has stepped in to help. There are two active programs within the state’s corrections system to help offenders get sober and healthy before re-entering society.
KEY is a therapeutic-based program provided to offenders during the last 12 to 18 months of their prison sentence. The goal of the program is to address the root cause of their addictions, and help the inmate understand the patterns of thoughts and behaviors that may have led to addiction.
CREST Substance Abuse Program
CREST is a substance abuse treatment program provided to offenders under house arrest. The program focuses on performance-based treatment, and participants are required to complete the following three phases:
- Phase 1, which includes a 12-step program, education seminars and stress management counseling
- Phase 2, which involves primary recovery, developing communication and problem-solving skills, anger management and life skill development
- Phase 3, the most hands-on phase, which includes developing a personal recovery plan, establishing a sober support network and maintaining a journal
Finding a Treatment Center in Delaware
For some people living in Delaware, overcoming a substance abuse disorder is an ongoing battle. To help state residents overcome their addiction and begin the healing process, Delaware rehab programs provide the guidance needed for people to find peace in their lives.
While Delaware’s treatment programs are equipped to address many types of addiction, it’s important to consider all treatment options. Sometimes, the right center could be across town, or across the country.
Traveling for rehab is a great choice for people looking to physically escape the environment that may have caused their addiction. They can begin recovery with a “clean slate,” and build positive thinking methods and relationships as they journey to a life of health and happiness.
It’s perfectly normal if you don’t know what steps to take in starting recovery. Contact a treatment facility to get started.