All of these people died in 2015 from a heroin-related overdose in Palm Beach County. Each had a life before their untimely death. We're telling each and every story.
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Video by Jennifer Podis/Palm Beach Post

An epidemic hidden in shame

Last year, 216 people died here of heroin-related overdoses -- about one every other day. Many died in public places. Many died at home and were found by their parents and kids.

Who were they?
Profiles of the lost

They're from every walk of life: mothers, fathers, students, lawyers, athletes, veterans, animal lovers, musicians, white-collar workers, blue-collar workers and more. These are their stories.

'Not a thing being done about it'

Other states and small Appalachian towns are fighting the crisis with gusto. The same can't be said for Florida and Palm Beach County.

'5 RIPs a week on Facebook'

The modern addict: Most victims were younger than 40, lives cut short before they could hit bottom. And, what makes it so deadly now.

'A mom's desperate fight to save her son from heroin'

She was driving up Interstate 95, headed to a Christmas reunion in New Jersey, when she got the call.

You need to know that your son Brian is doing heroin.

"I had to pull the car over and throw up," Penny Grieb said, recalling that day in 2011. "I got sick because somehow you know that this might be the beginning of the end."

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Video by Joe Forzano and Thomas Cordy/Palm Beach Post

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Video by Joe Forzano and Thomas Cordy/Palm Beach Post

Among The Post's findings:

  • Of all those who died, 95% were white.
  • Nearly eight in 10 were men.
  • More than half were 35 and younger.
  • 40% were 30 and younger.
  • The youngest to die was 19; the oldest was 65; the median age was 33.
  • Most took the fatal overdose in their homes but 1 in 10 fatally overdosed in a sober home. 20% died in a public place, including motels.
  • Autopsies of 42% revealed the presence of fentanyl, a drug 50 times more powerful than heroin.
  • More than 80% had three or more drugs in their system; nearly half had five or more drugs.
  • In five of the final six months of the year, the monthly death toll exceeded 20.

» Read more on how the research was done

» Read a note from our Publisher.