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Listen: Fla. responders wage war on heroin overdoses

To combat the heroin epidemic, firefighters developed "your life matters" cards with help line numbers for addicts they treat

By National Public Radio

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: We're going to hear now from a county in Florida that, like many places around the country, has seen a dramatic rise in drug overdoses - Manatee County on Florida's west coast. They recorded 216 emergency calls for overdoses in July alone. Last July, that number was 17. Michael Dunn is a firefighter with Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue in Bradenton, and responding to overdoses has become part of his daily routine.

MICHAEL DUNN: We've heard words thrown around lick epidemic. And the word epidemic's been used in newspapers a lot. The word epidemic, to me, is something that you kind of sit back and watch. This is more like a war because there's people dying in our community.

BLOCK: And what does that mean for you on a typical day?

Full story: In a Florida County, Overdose Epidemic is 'More Like a War'

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