(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.