FDLE: Duval has the highest fentanyl deaths in Florida

Last year, there were 1,644 fentanyl-related deaths in Florida. Of those deaths, the FDLE reported 281 fentanyl-related deaths in Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) released its 2016 annual report Wednesday and it revealed that Duval County has the most fentanyl deaths than any other county in the state.

Last year, there were 1,644 fentanyl-related deaths in Florida. Of those deaths, the FDLE reported 281 fentanyl-related deaths in Jacksonville.

First Coast News spoke to Charles Snipes, a local man who has battled an addiction to fentanyl, as well as had to bury two of his friends just last week because of the drug.

"Just in the past year, I can name off 30 people close to me that have passed away from fentanyl-laced heroin overdoses," he said.

Snipes has been sober for four years, but he said he remembers what it is like to be addicted to opioids.

"It's an overwhelming high," he said. "It really just knocks you out. It tranquilizes you."

Snipes said he abused opioids for more than 10 years. He also revealed he had no reason to do drugs. He said he played high school football and like many of his friends, he had a bright future.

He said he was shocked to hear that his friend died from a fentanyl overdose last week.

"He believed in Christ," he said. "He believed in church and everything. Was raised in a good family and always seems happy, but just enjoyed the high, enjoyed the rush.

Snipes is now warning people of the dangers of the drug.

"It'll take anybody," she said. "If it took him, it'll take anybody."

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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