overdose

Schools Could Get Antidote To Overdoses

Nov 11, 2019

Medicine cabinets at Florida schools could get a new addition: an antidote for people who overdose on opioids such as heroin.

Florida Prisons Don’t Track Inmate Overdoses Despite Contraband Problems

Oct 11, 2019

Florida’s prison system, the third largest in the nation, has long faced issues with contraband drugs, yet the state agency that grapples with the problems does not track the number of inmates treated for overdoses.

Peter Haden / WLRN

South Florida officials and advocates rallied at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton Thursday night to highlight International Overdose Awareness Day.

Officials from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties spoke with the crowd about potential solutions to the crisis.

A lack of public treatment beds is a problem throughout the region.

Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Melissa McKinley says the the county is developing plans to open a receiving facility for drug users in an old county stockade building near the fairgrounds. The building is currently vacant.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Drug overdose deaths are going up in Broward County.

Deaths from opioid overdoses topped 520 in 2016, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office. That’s about 10 a week.

Cocaine overdose deaths were up more than 60 percent in Broward in 2016 — to 230 people.

It’s part of an overall trend that’s wreaking havoc around the country: poly-substance abuse.

“There are no normal drugs anymore,” said Broward County Medical Examiner Dr. Craig Mallak. “Everything’s a combination.”

Amanda Rabines

An overdose revival drug called Naloxone, commonly referred to as its brand name Narcan, can be bought over-the-counter in 14 states, but Florida is not one of them.

With the state’s overdose count increasing, the University of Miami’s IDEA Exchange Center, Florida’s first public clean syringe program, has recently been distributing the revival drug for free at its base location, in 1636 NW 7th avenue in Miami.

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Anita Elash

Amy Wright doesn’t use drugs anymore but when she did, she’d sometimes come to a narrow back alley in Toronto’s downtown core to shoot up heroin and morphine.

The alley is lined with enormous dumpsters and littered with trash. In Wright’s words, “It’s dark, it’s gray, it’s dim, it’s dirty. In the summer, you’ll really start to smell it because of the garbage, and you’ll smell the urine and, as you can see, there’s crap on the door.”

Delray Beach Police Department

The man had just risen from the dead.

He’s in his mid-20’s. Sitting on a couch in a house in Delray Beach. Pale as a ghost, sweaty, wide-eyed, disoriented.  Like he just woke up from a nightmare.