Florida Must Address Mounting Heroin Crisis With Addiction Treatment

The U.S. is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, and Florida is among the worst hit. “Every two hours, someone in southern Florida suffers an overdose from heroin, a lethal synthetic heroin called fentanyl or a similar powerful painkiller,” the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports. In the 1980s, the drug of choice was cocaine, and then crack cocaine. Then came narcotics like oxycodone. With the focus today on deaths by heroin and synthetic opioids, Florida suffers from low treatment rates, a shortage of psychiatrists and access to addiction programs. To learn more about the crisis, the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board consulted with Jeff Zornitsky, director of strategic initiatives at Advocates for Human Potential, a research, evaluation and systems-change consulting firm that works with government agencies, provider organizations, and key stakeholders to improve the delivery and effectiveness of behavioral health services, including substance abuse.

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Q: What accounts for the emergence of the opioid epidemic and how strong are opioid drugs compared to the drugs of choice in the past, such as cocaine?

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Jeff Zornitsky
Courtesy photo

Source : http://www.orlandosentinel.com/os-ed-opioid-florida-epidemic-killer-the-interview-20170419-story.html

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