opioids

Opioid painkillers layed out on a table.
irissca / Adobe Stock

In Florida, an estimated 17 people die every day from opioid abuse. To combat the issue, Attorney General Ashely Moody and Governor Ron DeSantis have created a new statewide task force. The group is charged with developing best practices for opioid abuse prevention through education, treatment, and law enforcement. Two recently appointed board members spoke about how they hope to help.

DeSantis Rivkees DOH
Governor's Press Office

Gov. Ron DeSantis is tapping a doctor from the University of Florida to lead the state Department of Health. 

discvillage.com

A Leon County program to treat substance abuse is going regional. DISC Village will soon be adding 6 new counties to its service area.

A number of pill bottles
Florida Department of Health's Take Control Website

Florida lawmakers want to create a task force to crackdown on the state’s opioid epidemic.

Mark Wallheiser / AP Photo

Lawmakers last session limited the prescription for a Schedule II opioid to a maximum 7-day supply, but one representative says they forgot something.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Legislation aiming to expand Miami-Dade’s successful needle exchange program to other counties is advancing through the Senate. The three-year-old program has even changed some doubters’ minds.

Dorioneill/flickr

A law that went into effect last July requires medical providers to check a statewide database before prescribing opioids for patients. Now, lawmakers are being asked to consider an exemption for doctors whose patients are terminally ill.

The law, known as House Bill 21 (HB21), targets controlled substances that are labeled as Schedule II or higher. That includes painkillers like OxyContin and codeine. These drugs are classified as having a high potential for abuse.

A number of pill bottles
Florida Department of Health's Take Control Website

With a new opioid law in effect, Florida health officials are educating the public on some of the new changes through a new campaign.

With his father looking on, Curtis Bean Jr., aka Kid Balla meets Attorney General Pam Bondi at Drug Free America Foundation.
reverbnation.com

One of Attorney General Pam Bondi’s top priorities is cracking down on drugs. And, during a recent Florida Cabinet meeting, she invited a young rapper to spread a similar anti-drug message.

Bill Nelson youtube / Bill Nelson's youtube channel

Florida’s U-S Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson have added a bipartisan proposal to a nationwide opioid bill that could go before the Senate.

Facebook.com

This week, members of Congress grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about a data privacy scandal where millions of Facebook users data were compromised by a political consultant firm. Here's some of back and forth between Zuckerberg and Florida’s U.S. Senators and Representatives.

Florida Channel

Florida could soon be filing its own opioid abuse lawsuit against drug manufacturers. They’d be joining a long list of states, counties, and cities that have done the same.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions standing behind lecturn.
Regan McCarthy / WFSUnews

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stopped in Tallahassee Thursday to reiterate President Donald Trump’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis. He says Trump included some “bold” goals when he unveiled a new three-pillar plan earlier this week.

Governor Rick Scott Signs Opioid Legislation

Mar 19, 2018
Offices of Governor Rick Scott

Governor Rick Scott has signed legislation to limit opioid prescriptions. Prescriptions for acute pain cases will receive up to a seven-day supply of opioid medication and enter the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database. Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) says this is only the beginning of a long battle.

MGN Online

A measure in the House tackles Florida’s opioid crisis by rethinking how to regulate prescription medication. If successful, lawmakers hope the new set of rules can curb opioid abuse.

MGN Online

Florida foster care providers are struggling to keep up with the number of children entering the system as a result of opioid-related deaths. 

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

After being delayed twice a proposal restricting physician prescribing powers for opioids is once again moving in the senate. It’s part of a wide-ranging proposal to address overdose deaths, which have jumped in Florida and across the nation in recent years.

Shelby U via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/heavyymetal/4539604112/

Florida lawmakers want more people to be able to report drug or alcohol overdoses without fear of retaliation. The effort comes after the high-profile death of a college student, and as the state’s opioid-related deaths continue to rise.

youthtoday.org

The Florida Legislature didn’t waste a moment during its first week when it came to addressing the opioid addiction crisis that is exploding across the state.

The Florida Channel

Opioid abuse may grab the headlines, but drug related deaths overall are on the rise.  And when it comes to helping people kick an addiction, one lawmaker believes Florida is rejecting some of the best people for the job.

guardianadlitem.org

As the opioid epidemic swells the tide of abused and neglected children coming into the state foster-care system, a Florida judge is trying to find them a "forever" home, in time for the holidays.

State Atty. Dave Aronberg
U.S. Congress, Energy and Commerce Committee

Two Palm Beach prosecutors are calling on Congress to outlaw the kickbacks some patient brokers receive for connecting people with drug treatment.  They believe those incentives encourage relapse rather than recovery.

Nick Evans

More than fifty people gathered at the Leon County Public Library Monday evening to talk about combating the opioid crisis.  The epidemic hasn’t hit Leon as hard as some other counties, but local leaders want to be ready.

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. 

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?

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