Following two back-to-back mass overdose incidents in Broward County just days apart that sent multiple people to the hospital, community organizations and stakeholders are coming together to address the spike in cases.
The United Way of Broward County has a special commission focused on issues like this.
This week the Commission on Behavioral Health and Drug Prevention held an emergency meeting following those two major overdose incidents to try and come up with immediate action.
Last Thursday, six spring breakers overdosed at a Wilton Manors vacation rental on a substance believed to be cocaine laced with fentanyl. Five of them were West Point cadets. Four of them had to be rushed to the hospital.
Just days after that incident, four people at a home in Fort Lauderdale had to be taken to the hospital for trouble breathing. Detectives found drug residue at the house, which was later tested and determined to be fentanyl.
In response to these two incidents, community stakeholders like the Broward Sheriff's Office and law enforcement, the Health Department, the hospitals, the schools and many more, came together at the emergency meeting to address and find ways to respond to the recent spikes.
“What we realized is that the spring break season,” said Angela Ventura, who is the director of the commission. “So we want to really target the spring breakers.”
Some of the actions will be to educate the spring break community on the dangers and share information on naloxone or Narcan and even distribute doses to some groups.
“What we did was we put together some teams that are going to be displayed throughout the beaches and through the different zip codes that are really showing the higher rates of overdose," Ventura said.
Ventura said the teams started this work on Thursday.