Aug. 9, 2022 – “This is an expected type of patient presentation. Just like a heart attack or stroke or patient with sepsis, this is something that every emergency doctor working a clinical shift today is going to see in their shift.”

Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller that officials say is 100 times stronger than morphine.

More than 6,150 people died in Florida in 2020 from overdoses linked to fentanyl. State health officials say more died in 2021, according to preliminary data.

The opioid epidemic in America began in the late 1990s, with increased prescribing of painkillers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Then, a second wave emerged around 2010 with a surge in heroin overdoses.

“We’re in essentially, the third wave of an ongoing opioid epidemic that you can trace back to over a decade now. That ongoing heroin epidemic has started to be replaced by a newer fentanyl epidemic,” Wilson said.

“Now moving into the middle of 2022, you actually do have people who are purposely and intentionally seeking out fentanyl at this point, because it’s been replaced —the heroin has been replaced by the fentanyl for so long.”