Law enforcement in Lee County said they are seeing a spike in deadly drug use and arrests this holiday season.
Cape Coral Police Department said it has seen more drug overdoses in the past few weeks Friday.
The holidays are known for a darker trend among drug users — compared to the generally joyful time of year when families come together to enjoy home cooked meals and celebrate.
“Unfortunately, during the holiday season, some people get a little depressed, or some people come into a little bit of money,” CCPD Sgt. Allan Kolak said. “So those addicts will unfortunately go purchase even more of the drug and use it.”
Pete Keklak lost a friend to a drug overdose 2 years ago.
“He was a great person,” Keklak said. “He’d give you the shirt off his back.”
Keklak’s friend was recovering from addiction, and he hit a rough patch.
“He lost his wife, his kids, his shop, and that was pretty much it,” Keklak said. “It was Christmas morning when they found him.”
“Every time you turn around, they got a new drug,” Keklak said.
A graph from drugabuse.com shows the number of drug or alcohol-related deaths from 1999 to 2014. December and January trend well above the rest of the months throughout the year with more than 90,000 killed.
The deadliest drugs CCPD said it has dealt with the past few weeks are fentanyl and heroin.
“Using a drug like that when you’re depressed, you take a little bit too much, you’re going to overdose,” Kolak said.
There are places to help people struggling with addiction in Lee County. One nonprofit called SalusCare is actually right across from the CCPD station. Experts and police said people struggling with addiction need to be ready to get help.