Doreen Overstreet, Public Information Officer
(407) 836-5301 (work) or (407) 468-5851 (mobile)

Orange County Launches Heroin Task Force to Address the Increase in the Drug’s Use

Orange County, FL – A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control shows the number of heroin users in the U.S. has grown by more than 300,000 in the last decade. According to the 2013 Florida Medical Examiner’s Annual Report, deaths caused by heroin increased by 78.7 percent in the state when compared to 2012. In Orange County, there were a total of 90 deaths associated with heroin in 2014, which is an 84 percent increase from 2013.

Why the increase? Although prescription drug abuse is still a problem, heroin is becoming easier to obtain and has a high-purity level. In addition, more young adult professionals are using the drug. In an effort to address these issues, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orange County Sheriff Jerry L. Demings will convene the first Orange County Heroin Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of key community leaders who will provide their expertise in the areas of enforcement, education and prevention, healthcare and treatment to address the increase in heroin use and overdose-related deaths in Orange County.

The inaugural meeting of the Orange County Heroin Task Force will be held on Monday, Aug. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be a press briefing held beforehand at 1:30 p.m.

Orange County Government Administration Center, first floor – room 105
201 S. Rosalind Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

Monday, Aug. 17 at 1:30 p.m. (press briefing)

Interviews available from:

  • Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Heroin Task Force Co-Chair
  • Orange County Sheriff Jerry L. Demings, Heroin Task Force Co-Chair
  • George Ralls, M.D., Deputy County Administrator of Public Safety and Health Services
  • Carol Burkett, Director of Orange County Drug Free Office

About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its residents and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, one of the nation’s largest convention centers and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners, including the Mayor, who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit or go to Orange County Government’s social media channels.

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