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BRADENTON (CBSMiami) – Florida Governor Rick Scott is making moves to combat the state’s growing opioid crisis. During a news conference Tuesday morning, Gov. Scott proposed legislation that would limit pain pill prescriptions, improve monitoring of known addicts and increase funding for prevention programs.
The Governor addressed reporters in Bradenton, a city south of Tampa, often referred to as the opioid capital of the state.
Governor Scott said, “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.”
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; and
- The Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council.
“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,” stated the Governor. “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.”
More details on the Governor’s proposed legislation and funding to combat opioid abuse will be made available in the coming weeks.