The Plan To Tackle Heroin Overdoses In Central Florida
The Oc Heroin Task Pressure all approved an agenda Monday to combat Central Florida’s growing heroin problem.
The job pressure made recommendations in police force, educThe Program To Tackle Heroin Overdoses In Orlandoation, health treatment and care. Oc Mayor Teresa Jacobs stated the next thing is to determine what areas of the 37-point plan will require additional funding.
“At a condition level, there’s certainly an excuse for more funding,” Jacobs stated. “This effort is the cheapest-taxed condition in the united states has its own effects. And i believe many of us that sit here and reside in this community and find out individuals effects are prepared to occupy the battle.Inches
Joint police force agency projects make 372 heroin-related arrests because the task pressure created last August there were fatal overdoses a few days ago alone, likely from heroin.
Check here for the full list of recommendations
90.7 Health Reporter Abe Aboraya spoke with All Things Considered Host Crystal Chavez:
CRYSTAL: What does the task force say should be done?
ABE: There are four big topics, if you will, this task force is making policy recommendations on: Law enforcement, education, health care and treatment. On the law enforcement side, they’re looking at this from a supply and demand situation.
CRYSTAL: So is the idea to reduce the supply and make heroin more expensive to get a hold of?
ABE: Exactly, more expensive and harder to find. And they’re doing that by going after dealers and the distributors with joint operations. Orlando Police Chief John Mina said this is dangerous police work, kicking in doors on armed dealers.
“Since we began this task force in August, jointly we have made 372 arrests related to heroin and taken almost nine kilos taken off the street,” Mina said. “To give an idea, that’s almost $750,000 in street value taken off the streets.”
CRYSTAL: What is the task force recommending for the future?
ABE: A couple big things. Higher bond for people charged with trafficking heroin. They also want all first responders, including police to carry the overdose reversal drug known as Narcan. The task force also wants to lobby the legislature for stricter penalties for having fentanyl. This a powerful opiate that’s either used to cut heroin or is sometimes sold in place of heroin.
CRYSTAL: Well those are a few ideas on the supply side, Abe, how about the demand side?
ABE: One big idea the task force is recommending actually deals with Orange County’s jail. The task force recommends a pilot program for inmates who want help kicking the habit.
Dr. George Ralls, medical director of Orange County’s EMS system, said people avoid detox because it’s unpleasant.
“When you get arrested and go through a jail, you’re forced through it. And we’ll help them through it and they all get through it. But letting them walk out of the hail two or three weeks later without any conversation about ending the addiction cycle is a missed opportunity.”
So this pilot program would either have people leave jail on a drug called Vivitrol … think of it as a long-acting Narcan. Or, at the very least, have them leave with Narcan in case of an overdose. And keep in mind, on any given day, they have 350 inmates who are admitted heroin users. And since January of last year, they’ve had 100 pregnant inmates who are heroin users as well.
CRYSTAL: So the task force is calling for stepped up law enforcement, more health care options, more funding and more education. Now what happens?
ABE: Yeah, maybe this was the easy part, right? So now they have to figure out what it will cost to actually put these policies into place. I asked Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs if they know what this will cost.
“The next phase of this effort is to determine how much of these recommendations will need additional funding from what we already have,” Jacobs said. “And then absolutely, we’ll be calling on this task force to advocate for state, federal funding.”
Task force members also talked about the importance of voting, saying that Florida now ranks dead last in per capita funding for mental health issues, which is closely tied to substance abuse.