RIVERVIEW, FL – In recognition of Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, River Oaks Treatment Center is educating the community on how to save lives. In 2021, the country saw yet another record year of overdose deaths with more than 107,000 lives lost, a 15% increase from the number of overdose deaths in 2020, and Florida was not spared from those results. The primary driver of last year’s deaths was the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which accounted for more than 88% of all opioid overdose deaths and more than 66% of all total overdose deaths. As a result, River Oaks will host a free virtual training session accessible to any member of the community on how to administer the life-saving opioid overdose antidote Narcan®.
River Oaks Treatment Center’s virtual training session will take place on August 30 at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
Participants will also have an opportunity for a Q&A with an addiction expert and will be eligible to receive a digital badge indicating that they have received overdose training from a leading treatment provider.
“Florida has ranked number two in terms of overdose deaths, and the prevalence of fentanyl in the Tampa area is known on a national scale,” said Jeff Turiczek, CEO of River Oaks Treatment Center. “So, the problem has been in this state for some time, but educational efforts on naloxone administration have not kept up. Young kids are dying, senior citizens are dying, children have died – there is no one this plague is not affecting. It’s gotten to the point where we have to know this information. It’s all around us.”
Fentanyl’s presence is frequently in the form of counterfeit pills and in nearly every case, the user is unaware. According to the NIDA, it is estimated that at least one-third of all counterfeit pills are laced with fentanyl. These counterfeit pills are created to mimic legitimately prescribed medication, like oxycodone, and are stamped with “M-30.” They are also manufactured to look like Xanax and Adderall, which have led to overdose deaths among younger demographics. Additionally, fentanyl in its powdered form is added to other substances such as cocaine, heroin, and particularly methamphetamine.
“Staying mired in this spate of tragic deaths is not an option and the best way to address this issue is for more people to know exactly what to do when they encounter it,” said Turiczek. “Providing this education is essential because it can mean the difference between life or death.”
About River Oaks Treatment Center
River Oaks Treatment Center is located near Tampa, FL. River Oaks treats patients who are struggling with drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental/behavioral health issues. For more information, call 813-213-4987 or visit https://www.riveroakstreatment.com.