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Florida unveils major plan to combat opioid epidemic

Posted on 10-06-2017 Posted in Addiction Treatment - 0 Comments

Florida unveils major plan to combat opioid epidemic

The United States is in the midst of a massive opioid epidemic, and states like Florida are among the worst hit. In a bid to contain the heroin and opioid epidemic in the state, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced a detailed plan on Sept. 26, 2017, which includes a major legislation and an investment of more than $50 million. Details of the proposed legislation include:

  • Limiting prescription of opioids to three days only. It can, however, be extended subject to strict conditions laid down for a week’s supply
  • Mandating clinicians and physicians to participate in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a statewide database that tracks controlled substance prescriptions
  • Additional changes to put a cap on unlicensed pain management clinics, continued academic courses on prescription of opioid medicines in a responsible manner and devising new opportunities for federal grant funding

The proposed investment of $50 million, allocated as part of the governor’s 2018-19 recommended budget, will include:

  • Amount set aside for treatment of substance abuse problems
  • Budget to be allocated for necessary counseling and services aimed at recovery from addiction problems
  • Allocation for the Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council

Elucidating the measures suggested, Scott said, “As I travel the state, I have met many families who are dealing with the heartache of drug addiction. Growing up, my own family dealt with the struggle of substance abuse and I know firsthand how this painful issue causes families to worry and pray for help and healing. As states across the country continue to fight this national epidemic, we must make sure Florida is doing our part to help vulnerable individuals and keep our families safe.”

The governor’s recommendations have been applauded as an advanced measure toward curbing the opioid menace that haunts almost every family in the state. However, patients suffering from acute and prolonged pain are apprehensive that the measures could complicate the process to receive their medicines. State leaders, however, have reassured that they are trying to limit the effects of the measures on those seeking treatment for pain.

The proposals come in the aftermath of Scott officially declaring the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency in May 2017. According to media reports, someone in Southern Florida suffers an overdose of heroin, fentanyl – a lethal synthetic opioid – or a powerful pain reliever every two hours. The shocking data reflects the pervasiveness of the drug abuse problem in the state.

Road to recovery

A large number of communities have been affected by the opioid and heroin plague. While opioid overdoses have killed many, government officials are still trying to figure out the most effective and absolute measure that can free Americans of the shackles of addiction to painkillers and heroin, an easily available alternative drug that is cheaper. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 52 million people over the age of 12 in the U.S. use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons in their lifetime in a given year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 25 percent people who take prescription opioids long-term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings grapple with addiction.

Notably, opioid addiction can be treated with timely medical intervention. Sovereign Health of Florida offers state-of-the-art facilities for treatment of dependence on opioid and dangerous drugs like heroin. Using scientific and evidence-based methodologies, trained and compassionate staff at our heroin addiction treatment centers provide help to patients seeking relief. For more information on our holistic opioid treatment centers, call our 24/7 helpline number. You can even chat online with one of our representatives for further assistance.

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