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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

12/19/18: Northeast Florida’s Opioid Crisis; Good Budget Habits; Vacationing in Russia

Own work

The CDC recently released a report naming fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, as the deadliest drug in America.

The report says that the rate of drug overdoses involving fentanyl nationwide skyrocketed by 113 percent each year from 2013 through 2016. And, here in Northeast Florida, the drug trends are mirroring those found in the CDC report.

Related: Recent Research on Opioid & Fetanyl Usage Trends In Fla.

Northeast Florida now leads the state with a rate of synthetic opioid and heroin deaths that has almost tripled since 2015. Dr. Christine Cauffield, CEO of LSF Health Systems, joined us in Studio 5 on First Coast Connect to discuss this epidemic, and what’s being done to help patients struggling with opioid addiction.

Credit 401(K) 2012/Wikicommons

Good Budget Habits

It’s the time of year when many tend to overspend, and try to get back to good budget habits sometime in the New Year. However, financial experts say there’s no better time than the holidays to plan your spending and saving for the next 12 months and beyond. Mary Svoboda, Jax Federal Credit Union's Chief Operating Officer and Chief Lending Officer, told us how.

Credit Judy Wells / WellsWorld
St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow

Vacationing in Russia  

Russia’s been in the news quite a lot over the last few years, mainly due to the allegations involving Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and whether operatives with the Kremlin coordinated with the Trump campaign. 

But politics aside, Russia is a fascinating country with Moscow alone drawing more than 17 million tourists each year. Travel blogger Judy Wells joined us with some travel ideas for those considering a visit.

Heather Schatz can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.

Drug photo used under Creative Commons license.

Piggybank photo used under Creative Commons license.

First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross first coast connect
Heather is the senior producer of WJCT 89.9 FM talk shows including First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, the Florida Roundup and What's Health Got to Do with It?