Orange County said Thursday that its newly formed Heroin Task Force will hold its inaugural meeting on Monday. The task force is being formed to address the 84 percent increase in deaths from the drug since 2013.
County officials point to abused prescription use, higher purity levels, easier access to the drug as a key factor in the rising numbers. There has also been an increase in the number of young professionals abusing heroin.
County officials says the task force 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.”
Notable members of the task force include Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton, Orlando Police Chief John Mina, as well as Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and Superintendent of Schools Barbara Jenkins.
There have been a number of other task forces that utilize partnerships between the county, city, and private businesses to battle problematic issues in the region such as domestic violence, homelessness, and law enforcement/community relations.