- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware appears to be on track to recording fewer drug overdose deaths in 2017.

But state health officials warned Wednesday that it’s too early to predict any trends. Division of Public Health spokeswoman Emily Knearl said a “very serious drug epidemic” persists.

Officials said there have been 180 suspected drug overdose deaths as of Wednesday morning. In 2016, 308 people died from overdoses.

Knearl said the numbers can change quickly. Four people died between Friday and Wednesday. Concerns only grow during the holiday season.

Delaware and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration have organized a Drug-Take-Back Day across the state on Oct. 28 to collect expired and unused education. Officials said the presence of one or more prescription drugs was detected in more than 80 percent of last year’s fatal overdoses.

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