Florida, like much of the U.S., is struggling with a mounting opioid epidemic. Governor Rick Scott recently declared the epidemic a public health emergency in Florida. A study by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement/Florida Medical Examiners states that the number of deaths in the state directly caused by opioid use in 2015 numbered 2,538. The same study reported that another 3,896 deaths, while not directly caused by opioid overdose, revealed that opioids were at least present in the deceased person’s body. This is a stark increase in numbers of deaths related to opioid overdose from prior years, which had already been seeing a steady rise in these unfortunate statistics. The largest numbers of deaths are coming out of southeast Florida. This crisis affects not only the individual addicts and their families, but it also affects our communities and residential zoning districts.

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