More than 1,000 Central Floridians died from an opioid overdose last year
Florida had one of its worst years of the opioid epidemic last year, due to a number of factors including isolation caused by the COVID pandemic.
The more than 1,000 Central Floridians who died from a drug overdose were remembered at a ceremony at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando on Wednesday.
Andrae Bailey is the director of Project Opioid, a nonprofit that provides free naloxone and other resources to people struggling with addiction.
Bailey says more needs to be done to sound the alarm about the state’s addiction problem.
“This is the number one cause of death in Central Florida and in America for someone 40 and under.”
Bailey says overdoses are now the number one leading cause of death for young people because of the accessibility of fentanyl and other deadly pills.
“The death rate among middle schoolers doubled in one year. In one year it doubled. Because of fake pills and fentanyl winding its way up and every substance on the street.”
Earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis rolled out an opioid recovery network aimed at making addiction treatment accessible to more Floridians.