Orange County, FL – A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control shows the number of heroin users in the U.S. has grown by more than 300,000 in the last decade. According to the 2013 Florida Medical Examiner’s Annual Report, deaths caused by heroin increased by 78.7 percent in the state when compared to 2012. In Orange County, there were a total of 90 deaths associated with heroin, which is an 84 percent increase from 2013.
Why the increase? Although prescription drug abuse is still a problem, heroin is becoming easier to obtain and has a high-purity level. In addition, more young adult professionals are using the drug. In an effort to address these issues, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orange County Sheriff Jerry L. Demings will convene the first Orange County Heroin Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of key community leaders who will provide their expertise in the areas of enforcement, education and prevention, healthcare and treatment to address the increase in heroin use and overdose-related deaths in Orange County.