Serenity Oaks Addiction Treatment Center Applauds Casey DeSantis for Helping to Raise Awareness of Fentanyl in Florida

July 21, 2022 at 16:02

Fort Lauderdale, Florida -

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Florida’s first lady, Casey DeSantis, has taken a critical role in the fight against the tragic epidemic of fentanyl-related drug overdoses. Serenity Oaks Treatment Center, South Florida’s premier addiction treatment center, thanks DeSantis for her valuable leadership in an awareness campaign to begin solving the crisis.

DeSantis is working with several Florida health and law enforcement officials in a statewide public messaging campaign to inform the public of the dangers of fentanyl, now the leading cause of death in the United States for people ages 18-45. She announced the campaign with Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Shevaun Harris, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Acting Commissioner Mark Glass, and Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is part of the opioid epidemic that is responsible for an increasing amount of abuse, addiction-related issues, and deaths in the United States and worldwide. A synthetic opioid is a manufactured compound that mimics natural opioid drugs, blocking opioid receptors in the body. When blocked, these receptors allow dopamine to flow freely in the body and produce the pleasurable, euphoric highs associated with pleasant anticipation — the same sensations produced by narcotic drugs.

Statistics from recent studies confirm the dangers of the drug. For example, a Centers for Disease Control study shows that over the last five years, deaths from fentanyl and other opioids have doubled, killing over 30,000 users. In 2016, according to the same government study, fentanyl deaths alone reached 64,000, which represents a 540 percent increase in fatalities over three years and a 22 percent increase over 2015.

The campaign by DeSantis will focus on prevention and recovery resources for overdoses involving synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl. Additionally, state agencies will collaborate to share available resources on substance abuse and mental well-being in local communities.

“Too many individuals are losing their lives because of illicit drugs and substance abuse,” DeSantis said. “Fentanyl overdose is the leading cause of death in the nation for individuals ages 18 to 45 . . . It is imperative that Floridians know the risks and understand that just two milligrams can be lethal. Stopping drug dealers and helping Floridians overcome the challenges of addiction and preventing overdose deaths is a significant priority for us all.”

Ladapo noted that more than 6,150 people died from fentanyl-related overdoses in 2020. “While substance use disorder is a chronic disease that requires clinical oversight, the fentanyl crisis requires us to be all-hands-on-deck across communities — and that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.

As part of the awareness campaign, DCF in Gadsden County is assigning peer-support coordinators and distributing more than 200 Narcan kits, an emergency tool that can reverse an opioid overdose if administered quickly enough. Emergency responders can also obtain free Narcan through the Helping Emergency Responders Obtain Support (HEROS) program of the state Department of Health.

The state is also enacting laws to punish fentanyl dealers and prevent more overdoses. Anyone convicted of trafficking fentanyl faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years for dealing 4-14 grams of the drug and 20 years for 14-28 grams. In addition, new state law allows Floridians to get Narcan kits at pharmacies instead of a law enforcement agency.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center welcomes DeSantis and her campaign collaborators to the fight against fentanyl addiction, one of several substance abuse disorders that the program treats. Serenity Oaks in Fort Lauderdale offers residential detox and addiction treatment with a wide range of modalities, with a high staff-to-client ratio ensuring that everyone entering the facility gets the personal attention they need.

For help or more information, visit Serenity Oaks Wellness Center or call (833) 720-0708.

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For more information about Serenity Oaks Wellness Center, contact the company here:

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center
(954) 289-9980
4200 SW 54th Ct, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

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