opioid abuse

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.

Sweeping Measure Addresses Prescription Pills

15 hours ago

Doctors would be limited to prescribing seven days' worth of opioids for patients with acute pain and would have to check a statewide database before ordering most prescription pain medications, under a proposal filed Friday in the state House.

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

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.

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

Pharmaceutical Industry Backs 7-Day Limit On Opioids

Sep 28, 2017

As Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders start to move forward with plans to address the state's opioid epidemic, a major pharmaceutical-industry group said Wednesday it would support a seven-day limit on initial prescriptions of pain medications.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday several proposals and $50 million in funding to help address Florida's looming opioid crisis.

Law enforcement officials are warning of a deadly new drug hitting South Florida streets called “grey death.”

More money is needed to stop overdose deaths, Manatee County leaders told state officials during an opioid workshop Tuesday.

House Approves Bill Cracking Down On Sober Homes

Apr 27, 2017

A crackdown on sober home corruption took a big step forward on Wednesday after House members unanimously voted to pass a bill strengthening the state's role in prosecuting criminal and regulatory violations.

A bill aimed at criminalizing the deadly drug fentanyl is heading to the Senate floor. The measure comes as the Legislature is struggling to respond to the state’s opioid crisis. But the plan has lawmakers questioning whether they should combat addiction with punishment or treatment.

According to official records, more than 1,000 people in South Florida overdosed last year on opioids including heroin and carfentanil -- a drug so potent it’s used as an elephant tranquilizer.

The growing threat of the opioids epidemic is mobilizing law enforcement and community leaders to form new partnerships and collaborate in events such as last week's discussion hosted by Florida Atlantic University (FAU). 

A Jacksonville doctor is proposing a pilot program to intervene when people come to the emergency room with heroin and Fentanyl overdoses.  

The Florida House wants to fight opioid addiction by placing new restrictions on how doctors prescribe painkillers.

President Trump has appointed Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to a commission to help fight opioid abuse on a national level.

Solutions Sought To Stem Opioid Overdoses

Jan 26, 2017

More than a dozen state lawmakers joined law-enforcement officers and health experts Wednesday at the Capitol to discuss a growing crisis of people dying from opioid overdoses.

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

Saturday was the Drug Enforcement Administration's National "Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative."

Local law enforcement agencies likes the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office and the Tampa Police Department collected unused prescription pills at various locations. The goal was to keep those medicines from getting into the wrong hands. 

Opioid abuse was among the most pressing issues that state legislatures around the country dealt with during 2016, according to a report by Pew.

As many states struggle to deal with the epidemic, Florida is ahead of the curve.

Carolyn Rossi has been a registered nurse for 27 years, and she's been fiercely protective of infants in her intensive care unit — babies born too soon, babies born with physical and cognitive abnormalities and, increasingly, babies born dependent on opioids.

Amanda Hensley started abusing prescription painkillers when she was just a teenager. For years, she managed to function and hold down jobs. She even quit opioids for a while when she was pregnant with her now 4-year-old son. But she relapsed.

Hensley says she preferred drugs like Percocet and morphine, but opted for heroin when she was short on cash.

By the time she discovered she was pregnant last year, she couldn't quit.

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