Authorities in tourist hotspots prepare for potential surge in drug overdoses during Spring Break

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — As college students across the country enjoy Spring Break, law enforcement in top tourist areas are ramping up efforts to combat drug overdoses. According to the Florida Attorney General, the opioid crisis claims 21 lives a day in the state.

With fentanyl increasingly showing up in drugs, authorities are urging spring breakers to be cautious. Last year, six West Point Cadets were hospitalized after overdosing on what they thought was cocaine but was actually laced with fentanyl. To help mitigate the problem, the Florida Department of Health and several non-profits are distributing free Narcan along beaches and hoping to educate partiers on the dangers of drugs.

Miami Beach, florida at sunset -- a popular spring break destination
Miami Beach, Fla. at sunset in 2019 — Photo by Denys Kostyuchenko on Unsplash

However, concerns extend beyond the U.S. border. The U.S. State Department and the state of Texas have both advised Americans to reconsider spring break vacations in Mexico due to ongoing violence and fentanyl-laced products. The advisory notes that visitors should be wary of crime in downtown areas such as Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum. The State Department also warns against purchasing medication and alcohol in Mexico.

“Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients,” the State Department said.

Despite the warnings, AAA reports that Mexico is still one of the most popular Spring Break destinations this year.