A summit is being convened in South Florida to explore the scope of abuse of heroin and other opioid drugs and examine ways to tackle the problem.
Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer is among the top federal and state law enforcement officials scheduled to discuss the growing epidemic Thursday at Lynn University in Boca Raton. Of particular concern is the combination of heroin and the synthetic painkiller fentanyl, which is causing a spike in overdoses across the nation.
Federal statistics show the number of overdose deaths involving opioids, including both heroin and synthetic painkillers, have roughly quadrupled since 1999.
Authorities at the South Florida summit are expected to detail the growth in opioid overdose deaths and law enforcement efforts to combat the drugs.