- Associated Press - Thursday, March 2, 2017

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Authorities in central Florida are warning citizens about the dangers of heroin following a recent increase in overdoses.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings on Thursday issued a reminder to those in the community of the pitfalls of heroin use. Narcotic agents found there have been 101 drug overdoses from Jan. 1 through Feb. 15 and of that number, 70 were heroin related. There were 28 heroin overdoses during the same time period a year ago, representing a 150 percent increase.

But overdose deaths during the same time period have decreased by 56 percent. The sheriff’s office attributes the decline to swift action by the deputies and use of Narcan, a nasal spray that counteracts the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose.

The spike in central Florida overdoses follows a national trend of increased heroin use in recent years.

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