LISTEN LIVE

opioid epidemic

A man with a beard and wearing a purple shirt holds up a white, plastic applicator that goes into a nostril and sprays a drug that revives people who have overdosed on opioids.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Pasco County has consistently ranked among the hardest hit areas of Florida throughout the opioid crisis.

But county substance abuse and mental health leaders continue to band together to approach the problem as a community.

Over the last couple of decades, the opioid epidemic has hit the U.S. hard in a series of waves.

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.

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.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam announced his campaign plans for public safety with a focus on fighting crime and combatting the opioid epidemic.

Teresa Qin/Flikr

The opioid epidemic has become so severe it’s considered a national public health emergency, and a recent report suggests it could be linked to a higher rate of children in foster homes.

A program to give naloxone overdose-antidote kits and training to front-line officers. Funding for pill disposal boxes in pharmacies, clinics and police stations across North Carolina. A radio campaign in Connecticut warning of the dangers of opioid abuse. A new medicine to treat opioid-induced constipation.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is continuing to prepare for a potential lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.

Florida House members are considering cutting funding for programs that supply patients with a powerful addiction-fighting drug.

A Jacksonville addiction specialist says that move could make it harder to stem the opioid epidemic.

Sessions To Discuss Opioid Epidemic In Tampa

Feb 5, 2018

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear Wednesday in Tampa to address drug trafficking and the opioid epidemic, the Justice Department said Monday. 

The aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the current dialogue about sexual misconduct, the opioid crisis and an election year in which Florida voters will replace Republican Gov. Rick Scott and all three Cabinet members will all play into the dynamics of the Legislature's annual 60-day session.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune recently completed a four-part series — “One War. Two Races.” — about how laws dating back to the height of the crack epidemic continue to hurt black defendants, even as the drug epidemic shifts out of minority neighborhoods.

A pharmacist looks at a shelving unit full of pill bottles.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Several proposals to combat the opioid epidemic are circulating through the Florida House and Senate.

President Donald Trump has declared a nationwide public health emergency for the opioid crisis.  But the immediate impact in Florida will be minimal.

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

Oct 16, 2017

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

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

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

As an opioid epidemic tightens its grip on towns, cities, counties and states across the country, one Florida law enforcement agency is turning to tech to try to stem the tide locally and prevent the rise of heroin overdoses.

A 10-year-old boy from a drug-ridden Miami neighborhood apparently died of a fentanyl overdose last month, becoming one of Florida's littlest victims of the opioid crisis, authorities say. But how he came into contact with the powerful painkiller is a mystery.

Accidental opioid overdoses by first responders are an alarming phenomenon.

 

Now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is warning police and firefighters to take special precautions in case they encounter synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The drugs can cause overdose just from contact with skin.

The drug overdose epidemic has killed thousands in Florida and Gov. Rick Scott is looking for answers.

The state will hold workshops in four counties next week to talk about the problem.

Bondi, Scott Seek Answers On Opioid Epidemic

Apr 12, 2017

Facing pressure to address drug overdoses across the state, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi rolled out plans Tuesday for a series of workshops and gave support for legislation focused on opioids and drug abuse.