The Palm Beach Post reported on Wednesday that city officials have confirmed 88 heroin overdoses during the month of October in Delray Beach. The former record high of monthly overdoses had been 66.
Eleven of the overdoses resulted in death.
This harrowing news comes on the heels of massive numbers of heroin overdoses being reported nationwide. Last month, 27 overdoses took place in the city of Columbus, Ohio within a 24-hour time span.
In Delray Beach and elsewhere, the recent surge in heroin overdoses may be partially attributed to the potent substances that the already-lethal drug is mixed with. Carfentanil, developed as an elephant tranquilizer, and fentanyl, a powerful painkiller with 50 times the potency of heroin, are both at the forefront of national discussion.
“Any heroin on the street has fentanyl in it. It makes the heroin last longer so the dealer can make a profit,” Delray Beach Police Sgt. Paul Weber told the Sun-Sentinel in July.
In light of this week’s events, the police department issued a similar statement via their Facebook page, noting, “While it’s unclear what is leading to the higher-than-normal number of deaths, it may indicate a lethal ingredient or mix of ingredients in heroin on the street right now.”
Over 450 overdoses have been reported thus far in 2016 for Delray Beach.
It is clear that Delray—and beyond—are experiencing an epidemic. One that is affecting our families, our communities, and our futures.
Miami emergency room professionals reported 183 overdoses in the month of September. One doctor stated that his overdose patients often range in age from young teens to seventies.
No age group or demographic is immune, and as overdoses continue to rise in number, the need for treatment rises, too. As South Florida remains at the epicenter of an epidemic, proper treatment for struggling addicts is more important than ever.
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