Opioid overdose deaths decrease in Central Florida. Here’s what a new report shows

Project Opioid releases report showing historic reduction

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Law enforcement met with community leaders Tuesday to announce new data that shows a historic reduction in opioid overdose deaths in Central Florida.

The report was released by Project Opioid and showed a decrease in overdose deaths of 11.5% in Seminole County and 11.1% in Orange County.

“This historic decrease stands in stark contrast to national trends and is a testament to the collective efforts of our community,” founder and CEO of Project Opioid Andrae Bailey said.

The same report showed a 2.6% decrease in overdose deaths in Florida, while nationwide there was a record 110,000 lives lost in 2022.

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“The data tells a clear story: something is working in Central Florida. This isn’t just a statistical anomaly; it’s evidence that concerted, data-driven community action has had a significant impact,” data advisor Kendall Cortelyou said.

Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said an expansive network of community partnerships has been vital in battling the opioid crisis as well as access to life-saving medications like naloxone.

“This encouraging trend in Central Florida is the outcome of a comprehensive, community-wide strategy,” Sheriff Lemma said.

During Tuesday’s announcement, Project Opioid marked the launch of “What’s the Fix?,” which is a social media campaign designed to target young people who are most at-risk.

The organization said they will use the newly released data to focus on formalizing partnerships and explore a regional commission for battling the opioid crisis.

For further details on Project Opioid, visit https://projectopioid.org/

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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.