Report In Florida
Cocaine Related Deaths Down for the
April 18, 2001
The Florida Medical Examiner's Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons
report for the year 2000 was released today, showing a 3% decrease in
Florida's cocaine deaths and only a slight increase in the number of
heroin deaths. The report details a significant contrast to the
steady increase in drug related deaths during the 1990's, as indicated by
the charts below. Specifically, we have seen an 8% decrease in
cocaine related deaths since 1998, as compared to a 59% increase between
1990 and 1998. Similarly, heroin deaths increased less than 1% since
1998, as compared to an 81% increase since 1996, when heroin data was
Because of the increasing deaths resulting from drug overdoses, on July
1, 2000, the Medical Examiners began reporting further drug information,
in addition to cocaine and heroin. Because of the cooperation among
the Medical Examiners, Florida now has a much improved picture of the drug
During this six-month time period, 2,669 individuals died in Florida
with cocaine, heroin, and/or other drugs identified in their bodies.
The highest numbers of heroin related deaths in Florida were in Miami,
Orlando, and Tampa. The highest number of cocaine related deaths in
Florida were found in Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, and West Palm Beach.
An interesting observation made from the new data collected for July to
December 2000 shows over 50% of the cocaine and heroin related deaths were
that of 35 to 50-year olds. For the same time period, almost 60% of
the Hydrocodone & Oxycodone related deaths were that of 35 to 50-year
olds. Almost 50% of the Methylated Amphetamines related deaths were
that of 25-year olds and younger.
Commissioner Tim Moore stated, "This report represents one more
body of evidence of the pernicious evil associated with the use of illicit
drugs. Not only does it rob our young people of their youth and
vitality; it takes away the promise of a bright and hopeful future.
The numbers represent evidence of a terrible choice that far too many of
our citizens are making: a few moments of 'hoped for escape' in exchange
for a death sentence. It is my hope that all will take note of these
somber numbers and seek help before it is too late!"
"Drugs continue to be a threat to the health and safety of
Floridians," said James McDonough, Director of the Office of Drug
Control. "While we are encouraged to see a reversal in the
negative trends of such traditional drugs as cocaine and heroin, we must
also put a check on the growing threat from club drugs and from the
illegal use of prescription drugs.
To review the entire Florida Medical Examiner's Drugs
Identified in Deceased Persons report for the year 2000, go to: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/publications/fme_drug_report.pdf
For more information, contact:
Richard Wolfe, Office of Drug Control
Public Information Director
Public Information Office
Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLA)