overdose

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.

Schools Could Get Antidote To Overdoses

Nov 12, 2019

Medicine cabinets at Florida schools could get a new addition: an antidote for people who overdose on opioids such as heroin.

Melinda McDowell had used drugs since she was a teenager. But she didn't try methamphetamine until one fateful night in 2017 after her mother died suddenly of a stroke. She went to a neighbor's house and he had crystal meth.

"I tried it and I was hooked from the first hit," McDowell says. "It was an explosion of the senses. It was the biggest high I'd ever experienced."

Most Florida Prison Deaths Occur From Natural Causes, Overdoses

Oct 24, 2019

The state has launched more than 900 investigations into deaths in Florida prisons over a five-year span, with causes ranging from overdoses to homicides, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement official said Wednesday.

Longtime Crusader Against OxyContin Begins To See The Fruits Of Her Struggle

Sep 17, 2019
Ana Venegas / Kaiser Health News

In the 15 years since she lost her son to a single OxyContin pill, Barbara Van Rooyan has had but one up-close look at the people representing the company that made it. 

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.

Andrae Bailey
Mattew Peddie / WMFE

Overdose is a leading cause of injury related death according to the CDC. In 2017, more than 70,000 people in the US died from an overdose in 2017, the majority of them from prescription or illicit opioid overdose.

Funding for the fight against the opioid epidemic may come from federal and state government, but community leaders in Central Florida are tackling the crisis through an initiative called ‘Project Opioid’.

Founder Andrae Bailey joins Intersection to chat about the plan to enlist the faith community and business leaders in the fight against the opioid crisis.

Good news came out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday: Preliminary data shows reported drug overdoses declined 4.2% in 2018, after rising precipitously for decades.

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. 

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. 

Bill Would Let Schools Have Opioid-Countering Drugs

Feb 15, 2019
Spilled pills on table
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A Senate Democrat on Thursday filed a proposal that would allow public schools to buy a type of drug that is used to treat people who have overdosed on opioids. 

For the first time in U.S. history, a leading cause of deaths — vehicle crashes — has been surpassed in likelihood by opioid overdoses, according to a new report on preventable deaths from the National Safety Council.

Americans now have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, according to the council's analysis of 2017 data on accidental death. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103.

University of Washington Health

A police dog working at a Florida port was given medication used to reverse an overdose after he suffered a reaction from sniffing drugs on a passenger.

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.

As the opioid epidemic has escalated around the nation, colleges and universities have been spared the brunt of it. Opioid addiction and overdoses are more rare on campuses than among young adults in the general population. But schools are not immune to the problem, and they're growing increasingly concerned about how to keep students safe.

A few days after three women overdosed in the Duval County jail, the facility’s former director Tara Wildes is calling the incident not an “extremely common” one.

Florida lawmakers want more people to be able to report drug or alcohol overdoses without fear of retaliation. The effort comes after the high-profile death of a college student, and as the state’s opioid-related deaths continue to rise.

There will be candlelight vigils on both sides of the bay tonight to remember those who lost their lives because of drugs or alcohol.

Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education, or "NOPE," is holding the events.

Substance abuse experts and law enforcement officers are calling on lawmakers to bolster access to treatment for people battling opioid addiction.  The biggest focus is on medication assisted treatments.

Spilled pills on table
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

An Ohio woman says her drug-addicted son has died of an apparent overdose after being abruptly released from a Florida treatment center ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (Facebook)

Law enforcement officials are warning of a deadly new drug hitting South Florida streets called “grey death.”

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."

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

Calls are mounting for Gov. Rick Scott to declare of public health emergency in the wake of an estimated 4,000 deaths in Florida last year due to heroin and opioid overdoses.

Both prescription and illegal opioids are driving a national spike in overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, they were involved in more than 33,000 deaths in 2015. Florida has seen a dramatic increase in opioid-driven overdoses, up more than 20 percent.  Yet, lawmakers are still grappling with how to address the issue.

Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford has scheduled his second meeting to address the opioid epidemic in Jacksonville for April 3, at 3 p.m. at City Hall.


Councilman Bill Gulliford wants to convene a community task force to combat the opioid epidemic in Jacksonville.

He made the announcement at a town hall Thursday night, where he said heroin and other opioid overdoes kill more than three times as many people as guns do in the city.

China is the source of deadly fentanyl that’s fueling an opioid overdose epidemic in South Florida and elsewhere in the United States.

That’s the finding of the new report released Wednesday by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission entitled Fentanyl: China’s Deadly Export to the United States.

A public health crisis spinning out of control.

That’s how Dr. Valarie Rao, medical examiner for Florida’s 4th District, describes North Florida's opioid epidemic. The district encompasses Duval, Clay, Nassau, Hamilton and Columbia Counties.

Emergency rooms would have to notify an adult next of kin when they treat someone for an unintentional overdose if Fort Pierce Democratic Representative Larry Lee, Jr., has his way.

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