Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday that during the upcoming legislative session, he will propose new legislation and more than $50 million to next year's budget to combat opioid abuse in Florida.
The proposed legislation will include:
Placing a three-day limit on prescribed opioids, unless strict conditions are met for a seven-day supply;
Requiring all healthcare professionals that prescribe or dispense medication to participate in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a statewide database that monitors controlled substance prescriptions; and
Additional reforms to fight unlicensed pain management clinics, require continuing education courses on responsibly prescribing opioids, and create new opportunities for federal grant funding.
The proposed investment of more than $50 million will include funding for:
Substance abuse treatment
Counseling and recovery services
The Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council
Scott released the following statement regarding the proposal:
We made a commitment here in Florida to do everything possible to support our communities and fight the national opioid epidemic, and while we have taken major steps to fight this crisis, more must be done. Today, I am proud to announce that I will propose major legislation during the upcoming legislative session and more than $50 million in my recommended budget to combat opioid abuse in our state.
As I travel the state, I have met many families who are dealing with the heartache of drug addiction. Growing up, my own family dealt with the struggle of substance abuse and I know firsthand how this painful issue causes families to worry and pray for help and healing. As states across the country continue to fight this national epidemic, we must make sure Florida is doing our part to help vulnerable individuals and keep our families safe.
These proposals will make a major impact on limiting the chance of drug addiction, reducing the ability for dangerous drugs to spread in our communities, giving vulnerable Floridians the support they need, and ensuring our hardworking law enforcement officers have the resources to protect Floridians. I look forward to working with President Negron, Speaker Corcoran and the entire Legislature to pass this impactful legislation and major investment. I would also like to thank Attorney General Pam Bondi for her focus on this issue and her commitment to keeping our families safe. We will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local partners throughout this fight.
In May, Scott signed an Executive Order directing a Public Health Emergency following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declaring a national opioid epidemic. The order stated that the opioid abuse "Poses a severe threat to the State of Florida and requires that measures are taken to protect the communities and general welfare of this State."
Signing the Emergency Order allowed the state to immediately take advantage of more than $27 million in federal grant funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Opioid State Targeted Response Grant, which was awarded to Florida to provide prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.
Refresh this page for updates.