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Lee County sees alarming increase in opioid overdoses

Published Jan. 14, 2018

FORT MYERS — Health officials are calling attention to an alarming increase in opioid overdoses and deaths in southwest Florida.

Lee County saw 955 overdose cases in 2017, eight times more than the 171 overdoses reported in 2013, according to medical provider Lee Health.

The News-Press reported that heroin and fentanyl deaths accounted for 61 deaths in 2016 in the Fort Myers area, while in Naples, they accounted for 27 deaths. Nearby Port Charlotte had eight deaths.

Throughout Florida, the opioid epidemic claimed 5,725 lives in 2016, a 35 percent increase from the 4,242 Florida deaths in 2015, according to a Florida Medical Examiners report.