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New report: opioid overdoses at historic highs

A new report says that opioid overdoses are at historic highs in central Florida. 

The primary culprit is fentanyl. 

The report from Project Opioid says that overdose deaths in Florida have increased by 190% since 2015, although the rate slowed some between 2020 and 2021. 

The data show that prescription opioids are NOT responsible for the increase. In central Florida, prescribing is way down. Here’s Kendall Cortelyou-Ward of Project Opioid.  

“The vast majority of that is because of illicit fentanyl being put really into all our illegal drugs in our community. Eighty percent of the drug overdose deaths were attributable to fentanyl, most often combined with cocaine, methamphetamines.” 

The report calls for better access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse an overdose. The report also calls for more education warning about fentanyl and illicit drug use. 

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »