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Intersection: Opioid Crisis & Law Enforcement

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The "super pill" looks just like well-known pain killers except it’s laced with the highly potent opioid fentanyl. Photo: Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The opioid epidemic in Florida triggered a state of emergency, and it’s prompted police departments and sheriff’s offices to equip their officers with Narcan.  Narcan’s an overdose reversal drug, but it’s not as effective against some of the more potent opioids like fentanyl or carfentanil.

Meanwhile, the state is imposing tougher penalties for fentanyl related offences,  including a 3 year mandatory minimum sentence for people caught with 4 grams of fentanyl, and murder charges for dealers when someone overdoses and dies.

So is the combination of better resuscitation tools for first responders and tougher penalties for dealers a good one? Are we heading back into a war on drugs?  

Robert Wesley, the public defender for Orange and Osceola County, joins Intersection along with Lt. Dominick Galiano, who leads the street drug unit with the Orange County sheriff’s office.

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About Matthew Peddie

Matt Peddie