Sunday, October 14, 2018

In 2017 seventy-four people died in the City of Lake Worth from drug overdoses. That’s right: 74 people.

In 2017: Total number of people killed by guns
in the City of Lake Worth?

Find out the answer below.

The Palm Beach Post keeps a very detailed database listing all the people murdered in Palm Beach County called the “Homicide Tracker”. Unfortunately, the Post doesn’t have a database listing all the people who died from drug overdoses and listing those who died from heroin or from illegal opioids either.

Remember, in 2017 seventy-four people died from drug overdoses in this City of Lake Worth.

And that doesn’t include the four hundred
and ninety-one who survived.

Click on image to enlarge,
data from 2017:
According the Post’s Homicide Tracker six (6) people were murdered by firearms in all of 2017 here in the City of Lake Worth. Except for January, February, March and May there were 6 or more overdose deaths every month in this City.

Now let’s consider seven hundred and sixty-six (766) days in this little 6-square-mile City:

Seven hundred and sixty-six days is the period of time starting from January 3rd, 2016 when the first murder of that year occurred, including all of 2017, to the City’s first homicide in 2018 that occurred last February 7th [update: the City’s second homicide of 2018 occurred on June 28th].

During that 766 days, according to the Post’s Homicide Tracker, there were eighteen (18) homicides in the City of Lake Worth which averages out to one murder every 43 days. Thirteen people were killed by firearms (mostly victims of handguns and all but two occurred west of Dixie Hwy.), four were stabbed to death, and one person died from a violent beating. If you just average the homicides by firearm over that period of time, about once every two months in this City someone was killed by a gun during that 766 days.

During that same 766 days how many people overdosed and died in this City?

Sadly, as bad as 2017 was for overdose deaths, the year prior was even worse. Below are two excerpts from an article in 2016 by former Sun Sentinel reporter Ryan Van Velzer titled, “Amid opioid crisis, a look a Palm Beach County’s worst-affected cities”:

“How loud do we have to scream before people take notice?” said Pam Triolo, Lake Worth’s mayor. “We have to stand together and do what we can, but we need to send a message to Washington and everywhere else. They need to know this is an epidemic that is not going away and needs to be addressed now, not down the road.” [emphasis added]

Then the reporter wrote this disturbing sentence. . .

Twenty out of every 10,000 people are suspected to have died of an overdose in Lake Worth so far this year [early Dec. 2016] — compared with seven out of 10,000 in West Palm Beach and 10 out of every 10,000 in Delray Beach. 

So. Back to the question, during those 766 days here in the City of Lake Worth how many people died from overdoses? A good clue can be found by looking at the numbers from 2017. At seventy-four deaths over the entire year that would be 0.2/day:

0.2  ×  766  =  153.

Over those same 766 days how many people overdosed but did not die? Four hundred and ninety-one people survived an overdose in 2017, so that calculation is:

1.35  ×  766  =  1,034.

The equations above are just a rough estimate taking numbers from 2017 as the baseline. However, if one concludes the numbers 153 and 1,034 are in the range of being accurate that would mean over those 766 days spanning January 2016–February 2018 a total of 1,187 people either died or survived an overdose.

[Briefly, let’s fast forward to March 2018: The opioid/heroin epidemic continues unabated. People are still having their lives destroyed and others are still dying from overdoses. But what does the editor at The Palm Beach Post think our elected leaders should focus on in this City of Lake Worth? Click on this link to find out.]

Which delves into this. . .

Have you ever read about what happened in the City of Lake Worth on September 26th, 2016
On the very night of the first Clinton/Trump debate some predicted a small crowd at the Scottish Rite for a public meeting about so-called ‘sober homes’. They were wrong. Why? One big reason was because the month earlier. . .

On August 17th, 2016, at a Lake Worth City Commission meeting, everyone heard loud and clear Mayor Pam Triolo’s proclamation declaring August 31st to be “Overdose Awareness Day”.

To learn more about International Overdose Awareness Day click on this link:
It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Just as a reminder.
Once again. . .

Tough words from Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo:
A “Proclamation” about heroin, the opioid epidemic, and so-called ‘sober homes’.

Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo didn’t hold back in August 2016 (see YouTube video below) following the proclamation: “Item 5B: Proclamation declaring August 31 as Overdose Awareness Day”.

The video is less than 4 minutes. At the 1:50 mark she finishes reading the prepared words, pauses, and then has her thoughts. To say it hits hard is an understatement. I was there taking this video and you could feel the emotion in the room.

Please share this video with your friends, family, and neighbors. Send the video to people up north who may believe they’re sending family members to Florida for treatment of addictions. It’s not always the case. Many of them will never return home.

Last year on this blog wrote,
Maybe Mayor Triolo’s “Proclamation” will save someone’s life some day.

I think in many ways, considering all the hard work by the public and the City of Lake Worth and PBSO as well over the last 1½ years following that proclamation, the mayor’s wish has come true for many in this City.

Note the empty seat in the video below. Then-Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, was absent for this Commission meeting, an all-too-common sight back then. On the right (wearing dark jacket) is former Commissioner Ryan Maier who opted not to run for re-election in 2017. Those two seats on the City Commission are now occupied by District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy and District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson, respectively.

Please share this video.

Once again, at the 1:50 mark following the proclamation, Mayor Triolo shares her thoughts: