Delray Beach Police Battles a Growing Number of Heroin Overdoses

By Shawn Dwyer 12/26/13

Police seek help from its citizens in fighting an alarming increase of heroin-related emergencies, while the sleepy beachside town joins the nation’s rising heroin epidemic.

Photo via Shutterstock

A quiet beach town on the coast of Florida near Miami has seen a sudden spike in heroin overdoses in the month of December.

According to a statement released by the Delray Beach Police Department, there has been “in excess of 20 cases” of heroin overdoses with one possible fatality; police are still awaiting toxicology reports for that particular case. "We have seen a significant increase in the amount of heroin overdoses this month," said Delray Beach acting public information officer Rachel Vanness. The increase has prompted the department to seek the help of anyone who might have information regarding any of the cases, mainly because the sudden rash "speaks for itself, there's something not right," said Vanness.

Currently, the overdoses are being investigated by the Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics Unit, while detectives are collaborating with the Sheriff’s Office drug lab in testing the seized narcotics. Earlier in the year, the Sun Sentinel reported that the state’s successful crackdown of so-called pill mills – doctors or pharmacies illegally dispensing prescription drugs – had the unintended consequence of opioid addicts getting their fix from street heroin.

Across the country, opiate overdoses have risen to epidemic proportions in recent years, thanks in part to the influx of prescription drugs in such normally conservative places as Maine and Utah, while cartels are flooding the markets via open air drug markets in larger urban areas like Chicago.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.