As spring breakers flock to Florida, state Attorney General Ashley Moody warned parents and students about the extremely dangerous threat of deadly synthetic opioids and other illicit substances. The dangers of these drugs do not discriminate against any age group, as shown by the recent death of a 19-month-old toddler.
According to CDC Data, 107,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2022, a record. In 2021, DEA Data shows that synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, caused 67 percent of overdose deaths. With fentanyl continuing to flood over the U.S. Southwest Border, Moody warned everyone to never use illicit substances—one pill could kill.
“As students flock to Florida to enjoy a break from school, I want to issue an urgent reminder that just one pill laced with fentanyl can kill. Please, make sure your spring break plans do not include illicit drugs, as deadly fentanyl is being found in commonly abused substances and is the main cause of skyrocketing overdose deaths in our country,” Moody said.
Moody suggested the following safety tips for parents to discuss with their children before spring break travel:
Talk to your child about the dangers of drug use and how just one pill can kill;
Develop and agree to a plan with your child;
Stay in regular communication during the trip;
Remind your children of helpful safety guidelines; and
Watch the news to keep an eye on travel advisories and warnings.
Moody also warned Floridians about “Frankenstein opioids,” or nitzazenes. Nitazene compounds are synthetic opioids that currently have no accepted medical use in the United States or anywhere in the world. Compounds such as isotonitazene have been found to be significantly more potent than fentanyl. Moody is pushing new legislation to permanently add nitazene compounds to the list of Schedule I substances in Florida.
In addition to the nitazene warning, Moody also warned about a dangerous drug called xylazine, a pain reliever meant for animals. This drug is now the seventh most-identified drug in Florida. It is dangerous because it is not an opioid, so when humans consume it and overdose, naloxone may not be effective. It is commonly mixed with fentanyl, and other drugs, and it leaves skin-rotting lesions at the injection site.
Moody developed the Dose of Reality Florida website as a one-stop resource for Floridians to learn about the dangers of opioid misuse, how to receive support for addiction and where to drop off unused prescription drugs.
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