Project Opioid Tampa Bay

What is Project Opioid Tampa Bay?

Project Opioid Tampa Bay mobilizes business, faith, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders in our region around a singular mission: to drastically reduce opioid deaths in our community.

Our Mission

Our efforts are intended to be collaborative, complementary, and constructive, bringing new energy, new conversations and, ultimately, more resources to this effort.

Project Opioid Tampa Bay is part of a statewide initiative funded by Florida Blue Foundation to drastically reduce the number of opioid related fatalities by bringing together business, faith, and philanthropic leaders in key markets throughout Florida. Project Opioid initiatives are being launched in Central Florida, Jacksonville, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County.

We seek to reduce opioid deaths by:

Research

Researching the regional impact of the opioid epidemic and identifying the types of treatment and resources available within the community.

Strategies

Developing an actionable strategy to reduce opioid deaths in the Tampa Bay region.

Education

Educating ourselves and improving policies in our own workplaces.

Collaboration

Collaborating with those professionals who have long worked on the front lines in the battle to end this epidemic.

Advocacy

Advocating for the funding and dissemination of best practices across our region.

Public Awareness

Dedicating ourselves to raising awareness of this crisis within our community.

Need more information? Check out our frequently asked questions.

The Stark Statistics

Top five things you need to know about the opioid epidemic in Tampa Bay

Opioid overdose is the 9th leading cause of death in US adults over 18 years old, if these deaths were reported separately, as opposed to being included within the “unintentional injury” category. More Americans die from opioid fatalities than die from traffic accidents, suicide, or even the flu/pneumonia (2019). 

But what does this stark reality look like for Tampa Bay? 

1.

Tampa Bay Region lost 30 people each and every week to an opioid fatality in the first half of 2020 (n=779). That’s a 61.62% increase when compared to the first six months of 2019. This is much higher than predicted and is significantly greater than the state’s 51.3% increase.

2.

Fentanyl kills. Fentanyl, a synthetic street opioid, killed more people in Tampa Bay than all other substances combined during the first half of 2020. Moreover, for the first time in 7 years, ethanol (alcohol) was not the most prevalent drug reported in decedents across Florida. The most frequently occurring drug found in decedents was fentanyl.

3.

Black Non-Hispanics in our region have a death rate that is increasing more steeply than all other demographic groups. The opioid fatality death rate for Black Non-Hispanic residents of the region grew by 129% in a single year. This far surpasses the relatively stable rates for White Non-Hispanic and Hispanic populations.

4.

Opioid deaths cost the region an average of $25.8 billion in economic output and resulted in a total estimated fatality cost of $14.2B to Tampa Bay region.  This latter calculation consists of $6.7M of health care costs, $1.7B of lost productivity costs, and $12.4B in cost associated with the value of statistical life lost. 

5.

A higher percentage of newborns are born addicted to opioids in the Tampa Bay region than in the state and the nation. TB rate of infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in Tampa Bay is 58.9 % higher than the state’s rate and 46.3% higher than that of the country (n=106.8 NAS neonates /10,000 live births).

Help is available

If you or a loved one is in need of assistance, resources are available. Click below to find out more.