FLORIDA — With deaths occurring at twice the statewide average, the Pensacola Medical Examiner District—which includes Okaloosa, Walton, Santa Rosa, and Escambia counties—has the highest per capita opioid death rate in Florida, Attorney General Ashely Moody has announced.
According to Moody, the Pensacola Medical Examiner District ranks first in per capita opioid-related deaths and is second only to Daytona Beach District for fentanyl deaths per capita. Hydrocodone and morphine also pose threats to the Pensacola District, with death rates propelling the panhandle counties to the top of those lists, Moody said.
“The national opioid crisis, bolstered by deadly fentanyl from Mexico and China, continues to claim lives in Florida—with the Pensacola Medical Examiner District being hit the hardest on a per capita basis,” said Moody.
“Today, I joined local law enforcement leaders to urge everyone to never use illicit substances. We are also encouraging anyone struggling with addiction to seek help immediately. Resources can be found at DoseofRealityFL.com.”
The per capita death rate hoisting the Pensacola Medical Examiner District to the top spot for opioid deaths is calculated from FDLE’s just-released 2022 Florida Medical Examiners Interim Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons report.
According to the report, the district, which includes Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties, has a per capita death rate that doubles the state’s average rate. Data derived from the report shows that:
- The state average per capita opioid-related death rate is 21 deaths per 100,000 residents
- The Pensacola District’s per capita opioid-related death rate per 100,000 is 42 deaths per 100,000
- Of the 349 opioid-related deaths in the Pensacola Medical Examiner District, 60% involved fentanyl
“We are seeing record numbers of overdoses related mainly to fentanyl that is flowing from our Southern border and being distributed throughout our communities,” said Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden.
“We are experiencing cross-contamination of other illicit drugs such as methamphetamine and marijuana, causing overdoses associated with those drugs as well. This is truly a national crisis affecting every community in Florida.”
To read the report that covers the first six months of 2022, click here.
Anyone struggling with substance abuse issues should visit DoseOfRealityFL.com, a statewide resource with information combatting drug abuse.
Those struggling with addiction can find specific treatment options nearby at TreatmentAtlas.org.
“We have been working tirelessly to create a plan of attack to address this deadly substance head-on,” said Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons.
“We look to reduce and disrupt the illicit supply chain while working with public health to provide services to those vulnerable to opioid effects.”