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Palm Beach County Commission approves initiatives to address opioid crisis

Posted at 7:48 PM, Apr 04, 2017

After facing the facts Tuesday from the people on the front lines, Palm Beach County leaders officially took action to address the deadly opioid crisis.

The discussion lasted nearly two hours. Ultimately, every single commissioner agreed that they need to take action on this epidemic immediately.

The recommendations are the result of a report that demonstrates the depth of the problem and what must change to save lives.

The first step is to hire an opioid czar to lead the fight.

Some of the other recommendations include increasing the number treatment facilities, improving access to benefits,and heightening education.

"This is my top priority," said Vice Mayor, Commissioner Melissa McKinlay. “We have to have somebody coordinating an effort and addressing this crisis. We’re not getting that from the state right now, so we need to take this into our own hands.”

The effort to save both lives and money will come at a cost to the taxpayers, starting with one  million dollars from the County's reserve fund.

However, a unanimous vote from the commissioners Tuesday, on both the money and initiatives, proves they believe this will be money well spent.