What’s Behind Central Florida’s Surging Drug Overdose Deaths?

2021 Drug Overdose Statistics

In the U.S., over 100,000 people died of a drug overdose in the 12 months between April of 2020 and April of 2021, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The central Florida region has seen a loss of 616 people between March of 2020 and March of 2021 to fentanyl, or fentanyl combined with other drugs, and the victims were mainly young and male, with a sharp rise in drug overdose deaths within the Black population of the area, which has increased by 200% between 2015 and 2021.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.

Drug Overdose Rates in Central Florida

Drug overdose deaths due to consumption of fentanyl-laced drugs increased faster in central Florida than the rest of the state, with over 50 people dying per month in Seminole, Orange, and Osceola counties, and the overall number of overdoses increasing by nearly 50% from 2019.

Fentanyl and Drug Overdose

Many people who overdose from fentanyl do not even realize that they are taking it, as it is often used as a cheaper filler drug in pills and powders, mixed by people who do not have quality control measures. They will press baking soda and fentanyl into pills to create fake Oxycontin, Percocet, Adderall, and Vicodin pills and mix fentanyl into heroin.

A tiny amount of fentanyl, the size of two grains of salt, can cause a fatal overdose. You cannot see, smell, or taste it. There is no safe way to buy drugs off the street, as even if the person selling the drug believes they are selling Oxycontin or Vicodin, they have no way of verifying what is in the pills.

Fentanyl causes breathing to slow down, sometimes so much that it becomes too shallow or even stops altogether. This is called hypoxia and can quickly lead to a coma, permanent brain damage, and even death if not treated immediately.

How to Prevent a Fatal Drug Overdose

Administering naloxone (Narcan) nasal spray or injection can stop an overdose in progress if you act quickly. It works by temporarily reversing the effects of opioids in the body and can restore normal breathing. Repeat doses may be necessary if breathing does not return to normal or breathing difficulty resumes. It is essential to call 911 right away, stay with the person, and get them medical attention as soon as possible because the effects of fentanyl can last longer than naloxone does. The overdose may continue without medical treatment. The best way to prevent death from overdose is to stop using drugs entirely through a certified, safe medical detox and rehabilitation program.

Central Florida Alcohol and Drug Rehab at WhiteSands

At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, our central Florida patients are provided with a safe medical detox, along with top-tier medical care, one-on-one therapy, group therapy, holistic and alternative treatments, and more. We believe that rehab should not feel like a punishment. Our clients will have a much better treatment outcome if they are comfortable and relaxed, so we have made our facility as comfortable as possible, with private rooms and private bathrooms, and luxury amenities.

Working with our caring and highly trained team in our rehab program at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, you will improve your physical strength as your body recovers from your addiction. You will also understand the underlying causes of addiction, new coping skills, and recovery tools while stopping unhelpful habits and thinking patterns. Your spiritual and mental health is also important to us, and we will provide you with holistic care for you as a whole person, giving you the best chance of long-term recovery. Contact WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today for more information about drug rehab and how we can help you take back control over your life.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.