U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the country has “never seen anything” like the current opioid crisis.
Sessions was in Tampa, Florida yesterday discussing federal and state efforts to fight drug trafficking and the opioid epidemic.
Sessions says 64,000 Americans died of overdoses last year.
A new study found that the total number of drug-related deaths in Florida jumped 22% from 2015 to 2016.
The number of opioid-related deaths — 5,725 in 2016 — grew by 35 percent.
The official heroin-related overdose death toll for 2016 in Palm Beach County ended up at 571 souls — a 110 percent increase from the previous year, according to the state’s Medical Examiners Commission.
“We are the epicenter for certainly fentanyl, fentanyl analogs and heroin overdoses,” said Dr. Michael Bell, Palm Beach County’s medical examiner.
And deaths caused by fentanyl increased by a whopping 97 percent. Particularly disturbing is the increase in the use of the fentanyl analog, carfentanil, developed originally to tranquilize elephants and never meant for human consumption.
Even more troubling, medical examiners reported that deaths related to all kinds of drugs — prescription drugs, such as oxycodone, and street drugs, like heroin and cocaine — and alcohol were on the rise.
President Trump has declared the crisis a public health emergency.