Drug-Related Deaths in Florida: Down First Half of 2018
According to an interim report released by the Medical Examiners Commission, the number of related drug deaths in Florida caused by opioids, declined in the first six months of 2018, compared to the first half of 2017.1
The Report Data about Opioid-Related Deaths
In the state of Florida, there were 107,570 deaths in the first six months of 2018, but only 5,922 cases involved drugs. The report distinguishes between “opioid-related deaths and opioid-caused deaths.” A death is opioid-related if the deceased contained the drug in their body but it was not the cause of death whereas an opioid-caused death means the drug is the cause of death. The report indicates that both types of incidents have decreased.
In this new report, there were 2,773 opioid-related deaths in the first half of 2018, a 10 percent decrease from the year prior. Unfortunately, while overall opioid-related deaths are down, the report also shows an increase in deaths linked to fentanyl.1
Fentanyl Is Still a Serious Problem
Florida Attorney General Ashely Moody said “It is encouraging to see that drug-related deaths have gone down, Unfortunately, we are still seeing higher rates of fentanyl-related deaths. These synthetic drugs are highly potent and extremely dangerous. We must continue to fight the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our country and taking 17 lives a day in our state alone.”1
The deaths caused by fentanyl are still spiking. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger and more potent that morphine. Even the slightest intake of fentanyl can allow the drug to affect your body which can lead to an overdose and possibly death. Fentanyl is getting harder to keep track of as more toxicology reports reveal it continues to be produced illicitly.
Fentanyl was the leading drug responsible for 1,101 deaths in Florida during the first half of 2018, followed by cocaine, which caused 844 deaths and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Valium), which is responsible for the death of 559 people.
What We Can Learn from Drug-Related Deaths in Florida
While this new information is hopeful since the data shows drug-related deaths in Florida overall are decreasing, fentanyl continues fuel the opioid crisis. In many states, the opioid crisis persists. If you or a loved one is suffering, you can get the proper help. With the right treatment and program, you can achieve a clean, healthy life rather than become another statistic of drug-related deaths. Call Simple Path Recovery today and learn more about the addictions we treat.
- WUSF Public Media – Drug Deaths In Florida Down In First Half Of 2018