Focus On Fentanyl

Welcome to the Office of the State Attorney, Fourth Judicial Circuit’s fentanyl awareness campaign “On High Alert.”

Since 2019, in an effort to stem the wave of overdose deaths, the SAO4 and its law enforcement partners have been aggressively prosecuting suspected dealers in overdose deaths. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office created its “Overdose Squad,” whose mission is to take dealers off the streets. The SAO4 has filed manslaughter charges in 50 cases, and so far, has obtained 26 convictions, with sentences ranging from five to 30 years.

In 2023, the office launched “On High Alert”, a fentanyl awareness campaign that aims to increase education about the dangerous narcotic, highlight its pervasiveness in the community, and warn of its deadly consequences. 

Our first responders and investigators are discovering drugs — ranging from marijuana to heroin — cut with fentanyl, and users are often not aware of what they are actually ingesting. As the nation sees a rise in overdoses and deaths by both addicts and first-time drug users, SAO4 aims to warn the community that no street drug is safe for use.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 84% of teen overdose deaths in 2021 involved fentanyl. The CDC estimates 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

“The numbers are startling, and the stories will cut you to the core. Drug dealers lace drugs with fentanyl because it’s cheaper and more addictive. They do not care about human life. We hope these stories — from people whose loved ones have died, first responders who have saved lives, and recovering addicts who have almost died themselves —will prevent more lives lost,” said State Attorney Melissa Nelson.

The office’s goal with this multi-part video series is to educate the public, and specifically, to reach parents and their teens who we hope are having important conversations about the dangers of today’s street drugs.

If you or someone you know struggles with substances, please call 1-800-662-4357 for support. 

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