Opioid Emergency: Share your stories, photos

WASHINGTON (WFLA) – President Donald Trump on Thursday pledged to “overcome addiction in America,” declaring the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency and announcing new steps to combat what he described as the worst drug crisis in U.S. history.

Trump’s declaration, which will be effective for 90 days and can be renewed, will allow the government to redirect resources, including toward expanded access to medical services in rural areas. But it won’t bring new dollars to fight a scourge that kills nearly 100 Americans a day.

“As Americans we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said in a speech at the White House, where he bemoaned an epidemic he said had spared no segment of American society, affecting rural areas and cities, the rich and the poor and both the elderly and newborns.

Governor Rick Scott has already declared that Florida’s opioid crisis is a statewide emergency.

Manatee County had the highest rate of fentanyl-related deaths in 2015.

Sarasota County is also in crisis mode.

The Pinellas County Sheriff says he is overwhelmed by the number of overdoses in the county, and is blaming the rising number of deaths on fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that’s about 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. The estimated lethal dose for humans is just 2 milligrams.. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says there have been 392 opioid-related deaths since 2015 in Pinellas County.

In Hernando County, a Spring Hill family is living out the nightmare of opioid addiction. Grandparents are raising their 5-year-old grandson since his mother is fighting an addiction. The experience has turned their lives upside down. (Full Story)

Opioid addiction affects everyone; children, parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives. It touches innocent lives every day.

**WFLA is asking you to share your stories and photos of loved ones lost too soon. Tell us how this epidemic has impacted you. Share your message on our Facebook page or Email online@wfla.com.

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