Ocala police hope amnesty program can help curb overdoses

Video: Ocala police hope amnesty program can help curb overdoses

OCALA, Fl. — The Ocala Police Department is doing  what it can to put a dent in the area's overdose numbers by implementing an amnesty program.

The amnesty program gives addicts the opportunity to surrender drugs to the department in exchange for treatment at a facility.

"I've had drug problems for some time and I overdosed," said Jeremiah Luttrell. Luttrell is one of the 44 people who have taken advantage of the program so far.

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Ocala police said they had 182 overdoses, with 28 deaths in 2018. Luttrell is one the 46 people who were saved from an overdose with Narcan.

"This is not just people shooting up, this is people dying from meth, from cocaine, that are being cut with legal substances," said Mehan Shay of OPD.

There were 34 overdoses and 9 deaths alone for the month of December. Four of those who died were friends of Luttrell.

He believes he would have been on of those who died had he not made a change in his life.

"I know that for a fact, if not by now, in a couple of days I wold have," said Luttrell.

Police said they are working overtime to ensure the overdose numbers don't get worse for 2019.