opioids

Patrick Kennedy has gone from lawmaker with an active addiction to mental health advocate.

Latvala Asks Scott To Free Up $20M For Opioid Fight

Aug 29, 2017

Saying the “opioid crisis presents an existential threat,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala on Monday asked Gov. Rick Scott to use executive authority to provide $20 million for opioid-related services.

Law enforcement has been cracking down on corruption in South Florida’s drug treatment industry. State and federal officials have arrested more than 30 people for running scams in rehab centers or sober homes in the past year.

But the facilities are often filled with recovering drug users from out-of-state. And when the homes shut down, the residents frequently wind up on the street.

President Trump says he is ready to declare the nation's opioid crisis "a national emergency," saying it is a "serious problem the likes of which we have never had." Speaking to reporters at the entrance to his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, where he is on a working vacation, Trump promised "to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis."

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

There's been a spike in the number of kids being removed from their homes in the Tampa Bay Area over the past few years. And foster care agencies are struggling to keep up with the influx.


An internet black market used by some Floridians to buy and sell heroin and fentanyl has been shut down in an international law enforcement operation.

Latvala To Hold Meeting On Opioid ‘Crisis’

Jul 20, 2017

With overdose deaths from heroin and other opioids dramatically increasing in Palm Beach County, Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, will hold a roundtable discussion next month to delve into the problems.

While Gov. Rick Scott isn't committing to using courts in the battle against Florida's opioid crisis, a state senator from Miami and a Palm Beach community want to use the legal system to address the crisis.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

As Health News Florida reported last week, the opioid crisis in Manatee and Sarasota Counties is putting a strain on their foster care system. But the situation isn't entirely bleak. Now we'll hear from one mother whose relationship with her son's foster parents helped her reunify her family and overcome her addiction.


The federal government is giving the state $3 million for drug court programs in the wake of an opioid epidemic.

More than 80 people in Florida were charged in a nationwide crackdown on health care fraud and opioid scams that totaled $1.3 billion in falls billings, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

States across the country are struggling to hold off a rising tide of opioid abuse and Florida is no exception.  But the return of harsh penalties for possession—a hallmark of the war on drugs—is frustrating a broad spectrum of advocates and officials.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Manatee and Sarasota Counties have seen overdose deaths from drugs like heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil spike in the past few years. At the same time, the number of children being removed from their homes and placed into the area’s foster care system has skyrocketed. There’s a connection between the increases.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Parts of the stalled Senate health care bill could hurt those addicted to opioids, according to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. The Tampa Democrat says if the bill passes, it will limit access to substance abuse treatment.


Drug For Nerve Pain Boosts High For Opioid Abusers

Jul 6, 2017

On April 5, Ciera Smith sat in a car parked on the gravel driveway of the Rural Women’s Recovery Program here with a choice to make: go to jail or enter treatment for her addiction.

A new study finds injured workers in Florida are using fewer opioids. 

Sober Homes To Receive Stricter Guidelines

Jun 30, 2017

A new law to better control sober living homes in the Sunshine State goes into effect Saturday.

Gov. Rick Scott has until Wednesday to act on a bill that would create harsher punishments for opioid possession.

Fentanyl Trafficking Bill Goes To Scott

May 31, 2017

A bill that would impose minimum mandatory sentences for people who traffic in the synthetic drug fentanyl was sent Tuesday to Gov. Rick Scott.

Florida service providers are wasting no time taking advantage of nearly $30 million in federal money for addressing the opioid epidemic.

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