FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass today released a video following the publication of the Florida Medical Examiners Drugs in Deceased Persons report. The report is online at https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MEC/Publications-and-Forms. The Commissioner’s video message is available here: https://vimeo.com/779743334/ff461d479b. Below are his remarks.
Today, I need to talk with you about a serious problem we’re facing across our country and here in Florida. Fentanyl is killing our citizens. In 2021, Florida’s Medical Examiners determined nearly 6,000 people across our state died because of fentanyl. It is by far the most lethal drug in Florida killing across all ages and communities, with most victims between the ages of 35 and 50.
We know that illegal fentanyl is being manufactured in Mexico and smuggled across our southern border into our country and our state. Fentanyl is cheap, odorless and tasteless, but is more potent than heroin.
Because of this, the Mexican cartels mix fentanyl into a variety of drugs including Adderall, Xanax and other counterfeit prescription pills. They are also mixing it with heroin and cocaine. Many victims aren’t even aware they’ve taken fentanyl. And DEA lab testing shows that six out of 10 fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.
What do you need to know? Remember, One Pill Can Kill! Only get prescription drugs from a pharmacy. Taking prescription pills from any other source could kill you. No pill purchased on social media is safe. And parents, talk to your children. Make sure they understand the dangers.
This year, in partnership with the Florida Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies throughout Florida, FDLE conducted several criminal interdictions across our state. During these interdictions, more than 60 suspects were arrested on drug charges and more than $600,000 worth of illicit drugs were seized. We will continue these interdictions.
Florida is also educating our young people through the First Lady’s campaign, “The Facts. Your Future” which is reinventing the way substance abuse prevention is taught in our schools. It’s not “Just Say No” — it’s “Just Say No and Here’s Why.”
And for those who need help with substance abuse or know someone who does, Florida’s Hope for Healing program can help navigate the many ways Floridians can access help. You can learn more at Hope for Healing Florida (www.hopeforhealingfl.com).
By working together, we can reduce the number of fentanyl deaths across Florida. Stay safe, and take care of yourselves.