April 22, 2021

Health Care: Drug Epidemic

Florida's opioid crisis has intensified amid the pandemic

Amy Martinez | 3/29/2021

As attention turned to the pandemic early last year, the opioid crisis largely fell out of the news. But it didn’t go away. In fact, it has grown worse.

Before COVID-19, the most pressing public health concern facing Florida was opioid addiction — in 2019, an average of one person every five hours died of an opioid overdose in Florida, more than from car crashes or gun violence. As attention turned to the pandemic early last year, the opioid crisis largely fell out of the news. But it didn’t go away. In fact, it has grown worse.

From March to June 2020, about 2,530 people statewide died from drug overdoses, up from 1,586 during the same four months in 2019, a 59% increase.

This story also features expert opinions, business briefs and people in the news: Andrae Bailey; Dennis Lemma; Project Opioid; Kim Lopdrup; Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse; Anna Mina; Houston Spore; Dr. Naakesh “Nick” Dewan

 

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Tags: Healthcare, Feature, COVID-19

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