Reports: 582 Broward County Residents Fatally Overdosed In 2016

In 2016, 582 people in Broward County lost their lives to drugs, according to data collected by the Office of the Medical Examiner and Trauma Services. This number is up by 260 deaths since 2015. 

In an interactive map (screenshot below), you can view the location, age, gender, and type of drug used that resulted in 2016 fatalities. 

The current, most common trend is for drug dealers to lace or replace heroin with fentanyl, carfentanil, and other synthetic drugs. In some cases, fentanyl and various synthetics are being laced with cocaine, or prescription medications like Xanax. 

In the first half of 2016, 199 drug overdoses were reported in Broward. By the second half of the year, fentanyl and other drug use had become so endemic that the number had increased by another 383 cases.

In South Florida, someone overdoses on these powerful drugs every two hours. Fentanyl is a synthetic often more potent than heroin. It's used under very controlled conditions in small amounts for hospital procedures. 

Carfentanil is also a synthetic that can sedate a 6000 to 13,000 pound elephant with a few salt-sized grains. It's estimated to be 100 to 1000 times more potent than heroin. 

The GIS mapping tool, created by the County's Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Department is being used locally by police and other fire, medical, and police personnel to develop policies and procedures to stem the tide of this growing epidemic and to determine where to utilize resources.

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