JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More people are dying from opioid overdoses with fentanyl playing a large role in the trend.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 71,238 people nationwide died from fentanyl overdoses last year. That was an increase of 13,000 from 2020.
But a new Florida law aims to crack down on opioid dealers and traffickers.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the new law in May. In more serious criminal cases, a dealer could face first-degree felony murder charges if someone dies.
A separate new law in Florida also gives longer mandatory minimum prison sentences if convicted of drug trafficking in the state.
Lori Osachy, a counselor and licensed social worker, said this is an epidemic that doesn’t discriminate.
“I think there’s many components that endanger children in this situation,” said Osachy. “There’s definitely a potentially genetic component because people can be more genetically inclined to suffer from addiction.”