It's a tragic and insidious killer - and one you don't hear about that often. But Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford points out opioids are responsible for over three times the deaths than guns.
Addiction to and abuse of opioids like heroin can quickly lead to death - in anyone.
Former Fourth Circuit Public Defender Jessica Rose died in December 2015 from complications of heroin abuse in a South Florida apartment. Her autopsy lists heroin and Alprazolam (a sedative commonly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders) overdose as causes of her death.
She had ten times the recommended amount of Alprazolam and eight times the amount of Morphine (heroin). Authorities found her on the floor of her bathroom in her apartment in Palm Beach County on the eve of a job interview.
She was 32.
Gulliford wants to bring a spotlight to this epidemic. He's inviting representatives from the sheriff's office, fire department, local hospitals, substance abuse treatment programs, college nursing programs, the religious community and interested community members to come to a meeting about the problem.
It's being held March 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber downtown in Jacksonville.
"Heroin and opioid overdoses kill over three times more citizens every year than guns, yet the community outcry over these deaths does not match the severity of the impact on our city," Gulliford writes in a release about the meeting.
For more information about the meeting, call Gulliford's office at 904-630-1642.