Fentanyl

Flickr Creative Commons

Fentanyl and carfentanil can kill first responders if they come in contact with them while responding to a drug overdose.

As a pilot program to intervene in opioid overdoses in Jacksonville reports continued success, a plan to create a permanent epidemic panel and city treatment trust fund is taking sharper shape.

For the first time in Hillsborough County, a drug dealer will face murder charges after deputies said a man overdosed on an opioid that was sold to him.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The Justice Department said Tuesday it will support local officials in hundreds of lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that are fueling the nation's drug abuse crisis.

The U.S. military’s Southern Command, or Southcom, hosted a summit of experts in Miami Thursday on America’s growing opioid crisis. Among them was Jim Walsh, the deputy assistant secretary of state for international narcotics.

Walsh told WLRN one of his big concerns is the growing potential for increased production of fentanyl – widely considered the most addictive and dangerous opioid. Walsh said in the past China has been the sole source of fentanyl. But there are signs it’s now being produced in this hemisphere:

Marle Brannon / Flickr

Two men in two separate cases will face federal prison sentences after they supplied synthetic opioids to people who later died.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Health officials in Lee County are calling attention to an alarming increase in opioid overdoses and deaths.

Florida’s medical examiners are warning the death toll from opioids is likely to spike as official data is released.  The most recent reporting doesn’t reflect the impact of some of the deadliest synthetic drugs.

Marle Brannon / Flickr

An autopsy has confirmed that a 10-year-old Florida boy is among the state's youngest victims of the opioid crisis.

WMFE

A Florida drug dealer has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for his customer's fatal overdose.

Court records show that 25-year-old Hugo Margenat-Castro was sentenced Thursday. He pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to distribute heroin and distributing fentanyl causing death.

Authorities say Margenat-Castro advertised selling heroin on social media, prompting potential customers to contact him through a website and arrange a meeting to purchase the opioid. At some point, the heroin began to be laced with fentanyl.

Marle Brannon / Flickr

A woman has been arrested in Puerto Rico and charged in her baby's fatal fentanyl overdose in Florida last year.

An internet black market used by some Floridians to buy and sell heroin and fentanyl has been shut down in an international law enforcement operation.

Marle Brannon / Flickr

Investigators have no leads or suspects in the death of a 10-year-old Miami boy from an apparent fentanyl overdose, the youngest known victim of the opioid crisis in the city, the police chief said Thursday.

Florida is enacting tough new penalties on dealers of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency

Accidental opioid overdoses by first responders are an alarming phenomenon.

An opioid overdose is an alarmingly frequent call for paramedics and firefighters in South Florida. But according to WLRN reporter Peter Haden, many of those victims came from outside the state to seek treatment for their addiction. With relapses topping 80 percent, many who arrive seeking help today can become tomorrow's overdose victim.

Under a newly signed Florida law, Possession of just four grams of the synthetic drug fentanyl can land a person in jail for a minimum of 3 years. Some are pushing back against the mandatory minimum sentence. But others claim it makes sense when one considers that that same amount—just four ounces--is enough to kill a room full of people.

Getty

Florida is cracking down on those found in possession of fentanyl.

Scott Signs Fentanyl, Pollution Notification Bills

Jun 15, 2017
Marle Brannon / Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott signed measures Wednesday that will impose minimum mandatory sentences on people who traffic in the dangerous drug fentanyl and require increased public notification of pollution incidents.

For nearly four years now, an unusual coalition of Republicans and Democrats has worked to reduce mandatory prison terms for many federal drug crimes.

But that bipartisan movement may be shallower than it appears. Indeed, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who both supported a cut-back on some drug punishments, are preparing a bill that would create tough new penalties for people caught with synthetic opioid drugs. Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Feinstein is the panel's ranking member.

Fentanyl Trafficking Bill Goes To Scott

May 31, 2017
Marle Brannon / Flickr

A bill that would impose minimum mandatory sentences for people who traffic in the synthetic drug fentanyl was sent Tuesday to Gov. Rick Scott.

Marle Brannon / Flickr

A new report from Florida medical examiners finds fentanyl caused more deaths than any other drug in Florida last year.

In the day room at St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction, which runs a needle exchange program in the Bronx, a group of guys are playing dominoes and listening to salsa music while they wait for lunch. And Van Asher, one of the staffers in charge of "transactions" — that means he gives out needles — is talking up his latest idea for how to keep the users here safe.

He wants to tell them what's really in their stash.

"If you're doing dope," he says to one client, "we'll give you a test strip so you can test and see if there's fentanyl."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Florida’s medical examiners are seeing a precipitous rise in fentanyl deaths.  They recently published their interim 2016 report on drug-related fatalities.

There are lots of ways to measure the recent spike in opioid overdoses in Miami-Dade County. You can look at the number of deaths from fentanyl—a potent drug often mixed with heroin sold in the street—which spiked from 13 in 2014 to nearly 300 just two years later, or at the even more powerful derivative carfentanyl, developed as an anesthetic for elephants, and which, by rights, should only be available at the zoo.

Fentanyl Crackdown Bill Goes To Gov. Scott

May 7, 2017
Marle Brannon / Flickr

After an impassioned debate over minimum-mandatory sentences, the Florida Senate voted Friday to send a bill to the governor that would impose tough penalties on people convicted of trafficking in fentanyl and related opioid drugs.

Legislature At Odds Over Fentanyl Sentencing

May 5, 2017

The House on Thursday rejected a Senate plan to give judges more leeway in sentencing people convicted of fentanyl trafficking.

State health officials stopped in Jacksonville Wednesday to hear about how opioid abuse is affecting Northeast Florida. It was their fourth stop on a state tour, set up by Governor Rick Scott.  

Deadly Fentanyl Drug Ignites Senate Debate

May 3, 2017

Grappling with a deadly drug scourge across the state, Florida senators Tuesday had an impassioned debate about whether the state should require mandatory-minimum prison sentences for fentanyl trafficking.

Pages