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opioid crisis

Florida Governor Announces Task Force On Opioid Crisis

Apr 2, 2019

Florida's Office of Drug Control will be re-established in the governor's office and a state task force on drug abuse will be set up to provide a unified vision for battling the state's opioid epidemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday. 

Yu-Jung Wei, an assistant professor in the UF College of Pharmacy, led a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that questions the accuracy of CMS’ criteria for flagging patients at risk of opioid abuse and overdose.
Courtesy UF College of Pharmacy

A new study by University of Florida researchers questions the accuracy of the criteria used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to identify patients at risk of opioid abuse and overdose.

Haines City Police Department

The opioid crisis is affecting communities of all sizes across the country. In one example, Haines City has equipped all officers in its police department with a life-saving drug that combats opioid overdoses.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Bills filed in the Florida House and Senate could give patients more control over how they're treated for pain.

iStock

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida had the 17th highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation in 2017, a 17 percent increase from the previous year.

Meth Is Back And Hospitalizations Surge

Nov 26, 2018

The number of people hospitalized because of amphetamine use is skyrocketing in the United States, but the resurgence of the drug largely has been overshadowed by the nation’s intense focus on opioids.

The nation's second-largest drugstore chain says Florida's lawsuit alleging that it helped fuel the state's opioid crisis "is without merit."

Drug overdose deaths hit the highest level ever recorded in the United States last year, with an estimated 200 people dying per day, according to a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Most of that was the result of a record number of opioid-related deaths.

Trump Signs Bipartisan Measure To Confront Opioid Crisis

Oct 25, 2018

President Donald Trump pledged on Wednesday to put an "extremely big dent" in the scourge of drug addiction in America as he signed legislation intended to help tackle the opioid crisis, the deadliest epidemic of overdoses in the country's history.

Updated at 4:37 p.m. ET

The American opioid crisis is far from over, but early data indicate the number of deaths are beginning to level off, according to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing "encouraging" results in overdose trends.

In a speech on Tuesday at a Milken Institute health summit, Azar walked through statistics suggesting deaths were plateauing and he highlighted efforts he says may be turning the tide in the drug epidemic.

Fentanyl Hits Florida Hard

Oct 23, 2018

Northeast Florida is the hardest-hit part of the state by the opioid epidemic, according to new data presented at a conference in Lake Nona this week. The region is home to some of the highest drug overdose death rates.

Analysis: 'Obamacare' Shapes Opioid Grant Spending

Oct 22, 2018

With Republicans and Democrats joining forces again in a bipartisan effort to target the U.S. opioid crisis, an Associated Press analysis of the first wave of emergency money from Congress finds that states are taking very different approaches to spending it.

Hillsborough commissioners on Wednesday voted to spend $13.7 million dollars over the next year to combat opioid addiction.

Federal Changes Take Aim At Opioid Abuse

Oct 5, 2018

The federal government is changing rules about how it helps with treatment for substance-abuse disorders, including requiring screening new Medicare beneficiaries for opioid abuse.

One of Florida’s main weapons to thwart “doctor shopping” has been expanding substantially after the passage of a tough new law aimed at addressing the continuing opioid crisis.

Florida Gets Federal Money For Opioid Fight

Sep 20, 2018

Florida has been awarded $61.7 million to help fight opioid addiction, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday. 

Figures from a U.S. government survey released Friday show some progress in the fight against the ongoing opioid addiction crisis with fewer people in 2017 using heroin for the first time compared to the previous year.

Broward County is about to get more money for programs helping people fight their opioid addictions. 

The federal government set aside nearly $1 billion to fight the opioid crisis nationwide this year. Florida is set to receive $49.3 million from those funds, of which  an estimated $7-10 million is going to Broward County.

County officials don’t know yet exactly how much they will get. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Hillsborough County has joined the state of Florida in suing 14 opioid manufacturers and distributors, including Purdue Pharma - the maker of Oxycontin.

Four inmates sit silently in the library of the Franklin County House of Correction one summer morning. But these men aren't here to read books.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Florida was one of several states last year to declare a state of emergency because of opioid abuse. But despite efforts by state and federal officials, some local teens don't feel like enough is being done to help students.

News organizations are pushing for the public release of data detailing the distribution of prescription opioids throughout the U.S., information that could show how drug manufacturers and distributors contributed to the nation's addiction and overdose crisis.

The law that took effect July 1 limits prescriptions of opioids for acute pain to three days, although a seven day supply can be prescribed under certain conditions. 

There is another opioid crisis happening in the U.S., and it has nothing to do with the overdose epidemic: Hospitals are frequently running out of widely used injected painkillers.

An attorney for the company that makes the prescription opioid painkiller OxyContin says there is an opioid crisis.

People with addiction to opioids and their support network can get instant, anonymous help in seeking treatment. 

Physical Therapists Look To Expand Role

May 30, 2018

With the opioid crisis as a backdrop, Florida physical therapists are promoting their services with a new website and statewide educational campaign in hopes of expanding their footprint in the health-care marketplace.

Court Overturns Ruling On Pain-management Law

May 24, 2018

An appeals court Wednesday overturned a ruling that said a state law aimed at cracking down on pain-management clinics was unconstitutional. 

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Tuesday that the state has filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors, blaming the companies for creating the crisis which kills about 15 Floridians a day.

The state’s invalidated process for licensing new methadone clinics is delaying help for opioid addicts in rural communities.

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