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"CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC": Florida sees drop in drug overdose deaths

Florida saw a 7% drop in drug-related deaths in the first half of 2023, the largest decrease since 2016.
Posted at 5:02 PM, Jul 10, 2024

Florida Attorney General Ashley is “cautiously optimistic” after a third consecutive report shows a statewide drop in drug overdose deaths.

The latest report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows a 7% drop in drug-related deaths from the first half of 2023.

That represents the largest decrease in deaths since 2016.

“Florida has taken a very novel approach; an aggressive approach and we’re seeing results,” said Moody.

Moody credits a multi-faceted approach, including more stricter penalties for fentanyl dealers and more treatment options.

In 2023, Florida law enforcement took part in more than 2,000 fentanyl seizures - the most in the country according to the AG’s office.

Florida prosecutors are now able to charge suspected fentanyl dealers with murder if the drugs they sell cause a deadly drug overdose.

“Most importantly, helping those that are struggling with addiction get the help they need. Because we now know that deadly fentanyl is laced with every kind of street drug that you can think of,” said Moody.

Narcan, the opioid overdose reversal medication, is now legal and widely accessible.

Fentanyl test strips, once considered drug paraphernalia in the eyes of the law, are now considered lifesaving tools.