On average, 115 Americans are now dying every day from opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As first responders in South Florida — and across the country — need naloxone like never before, the escalating cost of the drug is socking it to taxpayers, according to a new WLRN investigation.
A WLRN analysis of seven major South Florida fire rescue departments shows spending on naloxone soared between 2013 and 2016. Delray Beach Fire Rescue used to spend $2,100 on naloxone. Now it spends 14 times that. Miami Fire Rescue used to spend $3,600. Now, it’s also 14 times that amount. And Palm Beach County Fire Rescue’s naloxone bill went from $18,000 to $205,000 — an increase of more than 1,100 percent.
More overdoses explain part of the rising expense. But the cost of life-saving naloxone has also soared. Paying the price: police, fire rescue and EMS agencies. And that’s causing concern in Congress.