Facing the Opioid Overdose Crisis

State and local officials have gathered this week in Palm Beach County to talk about the Opioid epidemic. 

Vice Mayor Melissa McKinlay says her county has the dubious distinction of being number one in the state when it comes to overdose fatalities.

"Palm Beach County, in the first six months of this year, we have lost 399 people," she said. "Sons, daughters, friends, nephews, nieces, grandchildren ... however you want to describe them. But that is up from 299 in the same period last year."

Palm Beach County may be the leader, but overdoses are a problem in every part of the state. 

An average of 15 Floridians are dying every day.

State Senator Kevin Rader of Boca Raton says what's missing is a plan... like the one Florida created last year to deal with the Zika virus

"When Zika hit south Florida coming up from South America, we had an action plan. There was a declaration of emergency immediately," he said. "It's now time to have an action plan, to figure out what we should do next."

State lawmakers have increased penalties for trafficking a synthetic Opioid called Fentanyl, but officials say the state should be doing more to provide the medical treatment heroin users need to overcome their addiction.

Macro of oxycodone opioid tablets


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