Miami Still Leads State in Cocaine and Heroin Related Deaths

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiners district still leads the state in the number of autopsies where heroine and cocaine were found, but the amount of deaths linked to pharmaceutical abuse remains relatively mild compared to other urban areas of the state. 

State-wide the 2008 "Drugs Identified in Deceased Bodies" reports shows that while deaths related to most traditional street drugs are in decline, deaths linked to prescription pain killers and drugs like valium and xanax continue to rise. 

Cocaine was found in 202 autopsied bodies in Miami-Dade, outranking any other district in the state (though, districts aren't divvied up by population). 201 deaths where cocaine was found in the body were reported in the county. 55 were found to be caused by cocaine or its use with other drugs, with the drug being the sole culprit in nine of those deaths. The number is down from 281 in 2007. 

Miami also lead the state in heroin related deaths, with a body count of 33. Six of those cases were caused by heroine alone, while 27 were caused by a mixture with other drugs. Bodies found with cocaine and heroine were counted in both. 

Deaths where addictive pharmaceuticals like valium and oxycodone were found in Miami remained relatively mild compared to other urban areas of the state. For example, oxycodone was found in 171 autopsied bodies in Broward, and only 46 in Dade.

In addition to Broward, the Jacksonville, St. Petersburg and Orlando areas also show staggering numbers related to pharmaceuticals. Prescription drugs accounted for 75% of all occurrences listed in the report.

State-wide deaths related to most street drugs, including cocaine, ecstacy, speed, and marijuana were in decline (heroine and meth are the notable exceptions), while deaths related to valium, xanax, other benzodiazepines, non-heroin opiods, hydrocodone, and oxycodone were on the rise. 

The four most common drugs found in Florida autopsies were alcohol, all benzodiazepines, cocaine and oxycodone. Those responsible for directly causing the most deaths were oxycodone, benzodiazepines, cocaine, alcohol, morphine and hydrocodone. The most lethal were heroine, methadone and oxycodone.

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