Governor Scott turns to medical professionals for advice on kicking Florida’s opioid habit

TAMPA, FL. — Governor Rick Scott has already declared that Florida’s opioid crisis is a statewide emergency, and has announced plans to introduce legislation that will fight the deadly battle.

On Friday, the governor asked those on the front lines for feedback on his proposals.

Scott attended the Florida Medical Association’s Opioid Summit, a day-long series of panel speakers who approach the crisis from all angles, from regulations and legal concerns, to solutions, strategies and practices for treating addicts. Scott says he wants them to address his proposed change in strategy when it comes to fighting the epidemic.

He recently announced he plans to propose several measures for the 2018-19 budget, including,

  • 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
  • Additional reforms to fight unlicensed pain management clinics require continuing education courses on responsibly prescribing opioids and create new opportunities for federal grant funding.

A proposed investment of more than $50 million will include funding for:

  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Counseling and recovery services
  • The Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council

Opioids were the direct cause of death of 2,538 Floridians and contributed to an additional 1,358 deaths in 2015, the most recent year that data is available. Florida’s among the states with the highest rates of opioid abuse, and that bad reputation could impact new companies and job growth.

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