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Opioid epidemic: Kids suffer collateral damage

TALLAHASSEE — Ciara sobs as she recounts how, as a middle schooler, she helplessly witnessed her mother’s downward spiral into drug addiction, an affliction that left Ciara at times wishing her mother would simply die to end their suffering.

Ciara, now 20, is one of the countless child casualties of an opioid epidemic Florida lawmakers are struggling to curb.

With a 35 percent jump in opioid-related deaths in 2016, legislators are considering a variety of options to stop the spread of drug addiction and to keep patients from getting hooked on prescription medicines that can lead to the use of even more lethal street drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl.


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