health and science

Airman Valerie Monroy

The latest figures from Florida’s medical examiners show sharp increases in drug related deaths.  Across all substances, 22 percent more Floridians lost their lives in 2016. 

Joe Mabel via wikimedia commons

As opioid abuse rises across the state some lawmakers are pushing to clear the way for more needle exchange programs.  Many physicians whole-heartedly support the strategy as a way to reduce the harm of drug abuse.

Christine Cabalo via wikimedia commons

Florida’s medical examiners are warning the death toll from opioids is likely to spike as official data is released.  The most recent reporting doesn’t reflect the impact of some of the deadliest synthetic drugs.

Alex Proimos via wikimedia commons

The governor and state lawmakers are proposing new prescription limits to fight opioid abuse.  But they also want to require physicians use a long-standing drug monitoring database—raising the question, why wasn’t it mandatory to begin with?

US Navy via wikimedia commons

Complaints from Floridians hit with surprise bills after a ride in an ambulance have the state’s insurance consumer advocate looking for answers.  First responders are pointing at insurers.

US Fish and Wildlife Service via wikimedia commons

Florida health officials are under fire for the slow implementation of the latest medical marijuana law.  State lawmakers are rejecting the department's excuses.

Christine Cabalo via wikimedia commons

President Donald Trump has declared a nationwide public health emergency for the opioid crisis.  But the immediate impact in Florida will be minimal.

Senator Benacquisto (R-Fort Myers) in her new video.
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto YouTube

The state senator leading the charge on opioid abuse in Florida is leaning heavily on prescription limits in a new YouTube video.  Her measure caps most prescriptions at a three day supply.

DXR via wikimedia commons

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s response to the state’s opioid crisis is taking shape in the House.

Christine Cabalo via wikimedia commons

Substance abuse experts and law enforcement officers are calling on lawmakers to bolster access to treatment for people battling opioid addiction.  The biggest focus is on medication assisted treatments.

DXR via wikimedia commons

Florida House lawmakers are checking in on a 2016 measure meant to improve mental health and addiction treatment.

Nick Evans

Florida’s law enforcement, emergency and mental health workers are struggling to cope with a rising tide of opioid overdoses.  Lawmakers are looking for solutions ahead of the coming year’s legislative session.

Nick Evans

The medical marijuana company Surterra Therapeutics is urging state health regulators to take steps to allow edible cannabis treatments.  But the roll out for those rules could still be far off on the horizon.

Office of Gov. Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott is promising to make the opioid crisis a top priority in the coming legislative session.

Nick Evans

Florida Governor Rick Scott will ask lawmakers for $50 million next year to fight opioid abuse.  But it’s not clear how much will go to treatment and how much to enforcement.

DXR via wikimedia commons

This week South Carolina decided to sue the maker OxyContin for deceptive marketing.

Drug Abuse Foundation of Palm Beach County CEO Alton Taylor
Florida Channel

A bipartisan panel of Florida lawmakers is reaching out to local agencies to improve the response to Florida’s opioid crisis.

Bokske via Wikimedia Commons

Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana has issued two new cannabis licenses under the terms of a measure passed in this June’s special session.  Jim Eaton is an attorney with one of the new licensees, 3 Boys Farm.

Knox Medical's new dispensary.
Nick Evans

Tallahassee is getting a new medical marijuana dispensary.

Julia Kaye speaking after the hearing.
Nick Evans

The Florida Legislature and the American Civil Liberties Union are again squaring off in a Tallahassee courtroom over a 2015 law requiring women wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.  With the measure already on hold, the judge granted the state’s request for two additional months to work on its case.

Todd Huffman via Wikimedia Commons

States across the country are struggling to hold off a rising tide of opioid abuse and Florida is no exception.  But the return of harsh penalties for possession—a hallmark of the war on drugs—is frustrating a broad spectrum of advocates and officials.

joelmckennzie via wikimedia

Bay County health officials are offering a two week immunization clinic ahead of students returning to school.  

Cloneofsnake via wikimedia commons

Advocates are urging Florida wildlife officials to back federal legislation banning the sale of shark fins.  But some think prohibition could be counterproductive.

Nick Evans

Local officials and cannabis advocates are chafing under Florida’s latest medical marijuana legislation.  But they’re reacting to the new regime in different ways.

John Morgan
Nick Evans

Personal injury lawyer John Morgan is taking the state to court over its newly adopted marijuana law.  The outspoken medical cannabis advocate believes patients should be allowed to smoke the drug.

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