Addiction recovery specialist on why he thinks there’s been a recent spike in fentanyl overdoses

Two major drug recent busts in Duval and Flagler counties involve fentanyl.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two major drug recent busts in Duval and Flagler counties involve fentanyl.

News4JAX spoke with Michael White who’s Executive Director at Teen Challenge, a ministry that helps people recover from addiction in Jacksonville.

White is a former addict himself who is many years recovered and said a reason fentanyl has spiked in popularity among drug users is the regulation of pharmacies in Florida.

“It used to be a lot more oxycodone and oxycontin and then we started hearing more about heroin. Now it seems like a lot of those situations have become fentanyl,” said White.

He added many drug addicts believe the drug is cheaper and often try and see how much they can tolerate which can often lead to fatal overdoses. In fact, the Drug Enforcement Administration writes: “Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage.”

The drug has become a central part of the immigration debate nationally.

The DEA told News4JAX that most of the fentanyl locally is coming from two Mexican drug cartels, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

On Tuesday, Governor Ron Desantis addressed his decision to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard and spoke out specifically on the fentanyl issue.

“The sheer volume of this stuff pouring into the United States. I’ll run into mothers and it’s so tragic because these kids are not making so horrible decisions. Maybe they’ll do one thing wrong and the fentanyl is so deadly that they’ll overdose,” DeSantis said.

That was the case in a story out of St. Augustine News4JAX reported in early September.

Alexa McCondichie said her daughter Sarah Flinchbaugh was only 29 when she died.

McCondichie wants to make it clear that her daughter’s death was not a result of an overdose, it was a result of fentanyl poisoning.

“Our kids need to know about it. They can put fentanyl in any drug, even marijuana. They can put it in anything. It’s such a lethal thing,” McCondichie said.


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Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.