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Despite reduced number of opioid deaths in PBC, many say more work still needs to be done

Palm Beach County has decreased the number of opioid overdose deaths within the first nine months of 2018 by 40 percent. (WPEC)

The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office released new numbers Tuesday showing a 40 percent reduction in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the first nine months of 2018.

The State Attorney for Palm Beach County Dave Aronberg credits multiple reasons for the reduced numbers, namely the availability of Narcan and the crackdown on sober homes.

“We’re not where we need to be yet, but we’re moving in the right direction,” Aronberg said. “It’s not just about putting handcuffs on people. While that’s important, it’s about providing prevention and rehabilitation with enforcement.”

Unfortunately, many in Palm Beach County, like Cindy Singer, know the heartbreak caused by the disease all too well.

“It is the worst health epidemic our country as ever seen,” she said. “My son worked in construction and hurt his lower back, so that’s where it began.”

Her son, Rory, was in his early twenties, and doctors prescribed him a powerful painkiller for his back.

“Then they started limiting the amount that they gave and he looked elsewhere, and a cheaper alternative was on the streets," Singer said.

She got her son treatment, but he kept relapsing until one day he didn’t wake up.

“There are no words,” Singer said.

Now she’s putting purpose to her pain. Singer and her friend, Staci Katz, who’s son currently battled addiction, founded the non-profit, “Our 2 Sons” to help those who want treatment.

“We’re going to do what we can just as two moms, to raise money and help people when they need and want help,” Katz said.

“Our 2 Sons” will host a fundraiser and event on November 8th at the Hanley Center. You can find more information or donate be clicking here.

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