According to a study conducted by Families Against Fentanyl using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, illicit fentanyl fatalities reached 64,000 last year (CDC). And of all the states that have a problem to address, perhaps the most alarming is Florida’s fentanyl deaths.
Florida, more than any other state in the US, lost 5,161 individuals to illegal fentanyl last year. Florida was not just the state with the most overall fentanyl deaths last year, but it was also in the top 20 states in terms of fentanyl deaths per capita. On February 28, a report titled “Fentanyl: The State We’re In” was issued. Last year’s data refers to the most recent 12-month period for which CDC data was available at the time of research, which ended in May 2021.
Families Against Fentanyl also discovered that illegal fentanyl fatalities in Florida had more than doubled since 2019, with a 2.3x rise.
The overdose spike of over 200% in the last 2 years puts Florida in a class with only 30 other states. Teenage deaths are increasing at an alarming rate. In the same time span, fentanyl-related mortality among teenagers in the United States more than quadrupled. The number of black teenagers who have been poisoned with fentanyl has surged fivefold.
The spike since 2015 is even more staggering. Since then, fatalities attributed to fentanyl have increased by 547% in the US and by 746% in Florida. Since then over 16,000 lives have been lost to fentanyl.
James Rauh, founder of Families Against Fentanyl, attributes some of the increase in fatalities to the rise in fentanyl being used to create fake pills. “The fentanyl crisis is getting worse, not better. Fake pills with deadly amounts of fentanyl are popping up everywhere. It’s in fake Xanax and Percocets, it’s being laced in cocaine and ecstasy. A single pill can kill,” Rauh said.
Dr. Roneet Lev, who used to serve in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has urged policy makers to take action against the fentanyl crisis, “with the same vigor and approaches as we do the coronavirus.” As an emergency physician he has seen many fentanyl overdose fatalities, in both drug users and unsuspecting children and other who accidentally came in contact with the substance.
All In Solutions Boynton Beach Rehab Responds to Florida Fentanyl Deaths
“Anybody who works in addiction treatment will agree that this rise in fentanyl overdoses we’ve seen in the community is unprecedented,” said the Boynton Beach rehab Clinical Director Albert Zingariello, LCSW. He continued to say that Florida, specifically, has been hit hard. “We are fortunate to have a very active and engaged alumni community, so we inevitably find out when one of our past clients tragically overdoses. As a treatment provider, we are taking steps to better ensure the safety of our current and past clients. Our staff are all well trained in using Narcan and responding to overdose. Our alumni team works tirelessly to keep past clients engaged in their recovery. And while patients are in our care, we’re making a more focused effort to educate about the dangers surrounding fentanyl – specifically when it comes to fake pills,” Zingariello added.
All In Solutions Counseling Center offers opiate addiction treatment programs with optional medication-assisted treatment plans. If you or someone you know are struggling with opioids, including fentanyl, don’t hesitate to reach out for help by calling us at (855) 762-3796.