Fentanyl

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Offenders caught with small amounts of most drugs could be sent to jail but not prison under a bill approved by a Florida Senate committee. 

Overdose deaths related to synthetic opiods like fentanyl increased 1002% nationally between 2011 and 2016, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Manatee County, overdose deaths from January through October of this year doubled compared to the same time period in 2018 - many of which are attributed to fentanyl, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, and a growing number of those deaths are attributed to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. Journalist Ben Westhoff says the drug, while an important painkiller and anesthesia medicine in hospitals, is now killing more Americans annually as a street drug than any other in U.S. history.

U.S. Customs and Border Protections / Flickr

Wednesday, the White House announced the federal government will be cracking down on international fentanyl trafficking. Fentanyl is a pain reliever used for treating severe pain, but in recent years the addictive drug has been used recreationally - causing more than 28,000 deaths in 2017. That’s more than half the deaths caused by opioids overall that year. Making it the biggest contributor to the opioid overdose. 

Drug Deaths In Florida Down In First Half Of 2018

Jul 11, 2019
Emergency responders providing care to a patient in the back of an ambulance.
Peter Haden/WLRN

By Christine Sexton / News Service of Florida

The number of drug-related deaths in Florida, including those caused by opioids, declined in the first six months of 2018, compared to the first half of 2017, according to an interim report released by the state Medical Examiners Commission. 

This is the amount of fentanyl that can be toxic.
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The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is reminding first responders to make sure they’re carrying NARCAN. 

Deputy, Nurse Disciplined In Florida Inmate Death

Apr 1, 2019
Florida prison
Associated Press

A deputy and a jail nurse have been disciplined after a Florida inmate overdosed on heroin and fentanyl. 

Fentanyl is now the drug most frequently involved in overdose deaths in the U.S., according to a National Vital Statistics System report published Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report sheds a bright light on the changing nature of America's drug landscape — and the devastating number of overdose deaths that have occurred in the U.S. in recent years.

China's Agreement On Fentanyl Could Curb Opioid Flow In Florida

Dec 5, 2018
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Local experts are hoping for a break in Florida’s opioid epidemic after China’s decision to criminalize fentanyl sales to U.S. customers.

Feds Say Heroin, Fentanyl Remain Biggest Drug Threat To U.S.

Nov 5, 2018
Flickr Creative Commons

Drug overdose deaths hit the highest level ever recorded in the United States last year, with an estimated 200 people dying per day, according to a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Most of that was the result of a record number of opioid-related deaths.

Wikimedia Commons

A Frenchman who was arrested when he arrived in the U.S. for a world beard-growing championship faces a prison sentence in Miami federal court for online drug trafficking using the alias "OxyMonster."

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.

Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
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.

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