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Palm Beach County has 14% decrease in opioid deaths

Opioid Deaths
FILE – This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence at a trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation. Accidental overdoses contribute to 90 percent of all U.S. opioid-related deaths. Rising use of illicitly manufactured and highly potent synthetic opioids including fentanyl has likely contributed to the unintentional death rate, which surged nine-fold between 2000 and 2017, the study found. (U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah via AP, File)

(PALM BEACH COUNTY, Florida)– The opioid crisis in Palm Beach County has been a problem for several years, but recently, reports show there is positive data to be happy about.

According to a statement released Wednesday by Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, there has been a 14% decrease in opioid-related deaths in Palm Beach County in 2021.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Annual Medical Examiners Report said opioid deaths dropped from 604 to 519 in Palm Beach County, but there has been an increase in opioid deaths around the state.

In 2020 Florida experienced 6,089 deaths, and in 2021 that number jumped up to 6,366, a 5% increase.

Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine, is the cause of the increased number of deaths and has been found in other street drugs that are not opiates, according to Aronberg.

New legislation is being put forward to curb the increase in drug-related deaths, such as decriminalizing fentanyl test strips in Florida, which can detect the presence of fentanyl.