OKEECHOBEE, Fla. (CBS12) — A small-town sheriff is facing a big problem. Drug overdoses from heroin laced with fentanyl.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff says his agency responded to 8 overdoses in 3 days over the weekend.
Narcan, a life-saving medication used during an opioid overdose, was used to revive the victims.
But one of the victims, John Salmons, 43, of Okeechobee, did not survive.
A sheriff’s narcotics agent who worked the cases was somehow exposed to the effects of fentanyl, but was treated by paramedics and did not suffer any permanent injuries.
The sheriff says to see 8 overdoses in 3 days from heroin laced with fentanyl is hard to believe.
“This is a definite epidemic. These kids are ingesting and injecting poison into themselves," said Noel Stephen, Okeechobee County Sheriff.
He says the drug problem involving heroin and fentanyl is taking up a lot of deputies’ time, taking them away from things they could be doing to protect the public such as trying to stop thefts and burglaries and drivers who are speeding.
The sheriff says he feels confident he knows who’s dealing the drugs, and who’s supplying the drugs people are overdosing on. But it takes time to get enough evidence to charge them and convict them