/EIN News/ — Fort Lauderdale, July 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fort Lauderdale, Florida –
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis has played a vital role in addressing the tragic fentanyl-related drug overdose epidemic. Serenity Oaks Treatment Center, South Florida’s premier addiction treatment center, thanks DeSantis for his valuable leadership in an awareness campaign to begin addressing the crisis.
DeSantis is working with multiple Florida health and law enforcement officials in a statewide public messaging campaign to educate the public about the dangers of fentanyl, now the leading cause of death. in the United States among people aged 18 to 45. She announced the campaign with Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Shevaun Harris, Acting Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Mark Glass and Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is part of the opioid epidemic that is responsible for a growing number of abuses, addiction problems, and deaths in the United States and around the world. A synthetic opioid is a manufactured compound that mimics natural opioid medications, blocking opioid receptors in the body. When blocked, these receptors allow dopamine to flow freely through the body and produce pleasant euphoric effects associated with pleasurable anticipation – the same sensations produced by narcotics.
Statistics from recent studies confirm the dangers of the drug. For example, a Centers for Disease Control study shows that over the past five years, deaths from fentanyl and other opioids have doubled, killing more than 30,000 users. In 2016, according to the same government study, deaths from fentanyl alone reached 64,000, representing a 540% increase in deaths over three years and a 22% increase from 2015.
DeSantis’ campaign will focus on overdose prevention and recovery resources involving synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl. Additionally, state agencies will work together to share available addiction and mental wellness resources in local communities.
“Too many people are losing their lives to illicit drugs and addiction,” DeSantis said. “Fentanyl overdose is the leading cause of death in the country among people between the ages of 18 and 45. . . It is imperative that Floridians know the risks and understand that just two milligrams can be fatal. Stopping drug dealers and helping Floridians overcome the challenges of addiction and prevent overdose deaths is an important priority for all of us.
Ladapo noted that more than 6,150 people died from fentanyl-related overdoses in 2020. “While substance use disorder is a chronic condition that requires clinical monitoring, the fentanyl crisis requires everyone to be on deck in all communities – and that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.
As part of the awareness campaign, Gadsden County DCF is assigning peer support coordinators and distributing more than 200 Narcan kits, an emergency tool that can reverse an opioid overdose if given enough rapidly. Emergency responders can also get free Narcan through the state Department of Health’s Helping Emergency Responders Get Support (HEROS) program.
The state is also enacting laws to punish fentanyl pushers and prevent further overdoses. Anyone convicted of trafficking fentanyl faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years for trafficking 4 to 14 grams of the drug and 20 years for 14 to 28 grams. Additionally, a new state law allows Floridians to obtain Narcan kits from pharmacies instead of a law enforcement agency.
The Serenity Oaks Wellness Center hosts DeSantis and his campaign aides in the fight against fentanyl addiction, one of the many substance abuse disorders the program treats. Serenity Oaks in Fort Lauderdale offers residential drug and addiction treatment with a wide range of modalities, with a high staff-to-client ratio ensuring that everyone entering the facility receives the personal attention they need.
For assistance or more information, visit Serenity Oaks Wellness Center or call (833) 720-0708.
For more information on Serenity Oaks Wellness Center, contact the company here:
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center
4200 SW 54th Ct, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314