Nearly 16,000 people in nine counties from Indian River to Miami-Dade evacuated to shelters during Hurricane Matthew, toting typical sleepover accessories — and their own personal demons.
Six evacuees who sought refuge at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach overdosed on drugs as the dangerous Category 4 cyclone approached South Florida.
In another county, a bus full of teenagers from a residential addiction-treatment center was left at an American Red Cross-run shelter without adult oversight.
“Many of the people from sober homes came with supervision, but some came and were just dropped off,” said Delray Beach Fire Rescue Capt. Kevin Saxton, who confirmed the six overdoses at Atlantic. “There were witnesses seeing people shoot up.”
Concerns about drug-related activity at shelters — and caring for people with other medical and mental health needs — were raised during the Governor’s Hurricane Conference last week in West Palm Beach.