9 Investigates

Central Florida's pill problem has turned into a heroin epidemic

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Heroin started to become an issue in Central Florida in 2014. It claimed 89 lives in 2014 across Orange and Osceola counties.

“The heroin is cheaper, it’s a better high,” said recovering addict, Bobby Hackett.

Hackett like many other addicts across the state turned to heroin when Florida authorities cracked down on prescription pills.

Heroin deaths more than doubled in Florida from 2013 to 2014. And 447 deaths were traced back to heroin in 2014.

“The numbers are staggering,” said Jerry Demings, Sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Local leaders in Orange County have developed their own task force. They’ve distributed drug preventative information to high heroin areas and have pushed drug treatment.

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