Florida is quickly joining a national pandemic. Toxicologists, epidemiologists and law enforcement officials are warning the public: The drugs you are buying on the street may not be what you think they are.

Across the country, people are dying of overdoses in record numbers. Heroin is being laced with fentanyl, and people are not always aware. In some cases, heroin isn’t being sold at all. Drug dealers are supplying pure fentanyl and it is killing its victims. Medical examiners have said that Florida has seen a doubling of fatal overdoses thanks to this synthetic pain killer.

In South Florida, heroin deaths rose by 100 percent in Miami-Dade, by nearly 200 percent in Broward, and Palm Beach saw a rise in deaths of more than 400 percent. The data was taken from the first half of 2015. This year, the numbers are just as startling.

But what is fentanyl? The synthetic drug is a prescription pain killer. It can be 50 times as potent as heroin. In hospitals, it is often used in transdermal form, placed on patches that are then attached to the skin. In other cases, it is injected before a procedure. In the street, it is being used to cut heroin and heighten its effects. Unfortunately, the people that are cutting the drugs have no real working knowledge of dosages or even who will ultimately be buying their product. There is little doubt that people are truly taking their lives in their own hands when they choose to purchase heroin in today’s society.

Users who combine heroin and fentanyl, whether knowingly so or not, experience a euphoric high that is more intense than that realized with heroin alone. What happens, ultimately, is that people stop breathing. When given this type of narcotic, the body begins to lose its natural desire to take in oxygen.

The pandemic is reaching outrageous levels throughout the country and in South Florida particularly. Public health officials have issued multiple warnings, but these warnings may not be heeded by many. Sadly, people are paying with their lives.

If you have been arrested for a drug crime in Orlando or the surrounding area, please reach out to our attorneys. We will schedule a free case evaluation where we will advise you of your options. Call today to schedule your appointment.

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