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... is one laced use from overdose.

The number of those who are overdosing and dying is skyrocketing, since the pandemic began, beyond anything we have ever seen before.

  • The state of Florida was second in the country for the number of overdose deaths in 2020, behind only California.

  • Between April 2020 and April 2021, it is estimated that over 7,892 people died of an overdose in the state of Florida, a 26% increase from the previous year and a 306% increase from 2015. That equates to over 22 Floridians a day.

  • Overdose deaths are up 46% since the opioid epidemic was declared a state of emergency in 2017.

Prescriptions of opioids are down to historically low levels and no longer causing most overdoses and deaths.

  • Since 2017 we have seen a steep decline (76%) in the amount of prescription opioids being distributed in Florida and around America. Pressure from mounting lawsuits and public scrutiny has pushed all of those who work with and around prescription opioids to reduce availability to the public. This is a positive turn of events for those who have never used opioids before…but this action has NOT reduced overdoses and deaths.

  • Those who suffer from physical pain and are opioid-dependent still need legitimate options from doctors and physicians for responsible opioid use. Turning those who have a physical need or dependence on opioids away from the medical system with no alternative could drive individuals to much more dangerous street alternatives.

Fentanyl, in its illegal and non-pharmaceutical form, is now the driving of the new wave of deaths everywhere. Fentanyl is now the leading cause of overdose deaths among all drugs by a very wide margin.

  • Fentanyl is the cheapest street drug ever produced by cartels and is now added to almost every illegally sold drug.

  • Fentanyl is being laced into “fake” versions of most pharmaceutical drugs and commonly used pain killers, with counterfeit OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin being the most common. These drugs are made in clandestine basement laboratories outside of America and smuggled into our country to be sold on our streets.

  • Fentanyl was the most dangerous drug in the state of Florida in 2020, causing over 5,300 deaths, an increase of 63% from the previous year.

The declining mental health of many Americans is creating a dangerous increase in substance abuse across the board…including dangerous street drugs.

  • 25% of pandemic “essential workers” began using a substance in 2020 according to the Kaiser Family Foundation

  • 75% of people using substances reported using more in 2020 than previous years, according to a Project Opioid survey with Advanced Recovery Systems

  • Young people, 35 years old or less, have seen their mental health deteriorate considerably with a sharp rise in all forms of mental health challenges during the pandemic. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other conditions are mostly undiagnosed and untreated by mental health professionals.

The face of the overdose crisis is changing with the greatest rise in deaths now in Black communities, Hispanic communities, and a continued steep rise among poor rural Americans.

  • Communities of color continue to show a growing distrust for many institutions and leaders in government and the medical community. This translates into “treatment deserts” in many neighborhoods where physical and mental health issues are untreated and available medical interventions for addiction are not utilized.

The Changing Overdose Crisis in Central Florida:

The Changing Overdose Crisis in Central Florida:

The COVID-19 Overdose Crisis:

2022 North Florida HIDTA Report (Unclassfied)

The Changing Overdose Crisis in Jacksonville:


Read our latest research on the state of the opioid epidemic in America and the roadmap to combat it in your community.

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