ABC Action News dives deeper into the drug problem facing Tampa Bay

New FDLE numbers reveal overdose deaths are rising
Posted at 6:26 PM, Nov 17, 2017

Prescription drug deaths are up 16.5 percent in Pinellas and Pasco counties.

Cocaine deaths are up 55 percent there.

Heroin deaths are up 45 percent in Hillsborough and hitting an all time high in Polk County at 11 percent.

The newly released medical examiner’s report details a diary of deaths from drug overdoses all across the state since 2016, everything from prescription pills, up 24 percent, to synthetic fentanyl up a staggering 97 percent.

"I was in an accident and I was put on opioids," says Cody who's currently in a recovery program at Turning Point of Tampa Bay.

Cody went to the doctor with back pain. He came out with a drug problem.

"Before coming here...I died wife found me in the bathroom blue. It just ruins your life every aspect of it."

Major Robert Mailhiot with St. Pete PD says what the numbers don't show is how the drug dealing chemist are altering the drugs structure, making different versions called analogs.

"It’s very difficult to combat those because they are coming out of China and Mexico so it’s hard for law enforcement," says Mailhiot

But Cody tells us it’s local doctors who are opening the floodgates of addiction. 

"You go to the doctor and these doctors are handing you the loans not even telling you anything about the symptoms and the withdraws from not taking it," he says.