As some funding for Florida addiction treatment has fallen away, Governor Scott announced plans for new legislation that would carve out more money for the vital service. The drug addiction crisis has hit Florida residents especially hard. That is a situation with which Governor Scott says he is personally familiar. In a recent press release, he explained, “Growing up, my own family dealt with the struggle of substance abuse.”
On the prevention front, the legislation would impose limits on opioid prescriptions and crack down on prescribers who are not licensed. It would also require doctors who prescribe strong pain medications to comply with a new monitoring program.
Florida’s Addiction Problem Keeps Growing
As it goes across the country, so goes the addiction crisis in Florida. In August, the National Center for Health Statistics showed yet another year of increased drug overdose deaths. Only three states — Nebraska, Washington State, and Wyoming — experienced fewer deaths this year than last. Alaska stayed the same, but every other state lost more people to overdose.
Florida is the third highest ranking state in a chart where being on top is not something to which to aspire. There were 55 percent more deaths from January 2016 to January 2017 than there were in Florida during the previous year.
- 3,324 people died from overdose between 2015 and 2016
- 5,167 people died between 2016 and 2017
Only Delaware and Maryland had a higher increase at 67 percent and 71 percent, respectively. Across the country as a whole, natural and semi-synthetic opioids are second only to heroin in overdose deaths. Unfortunately, medical doctors have played a pivotal role in the growing number of addicted Floridians, which is a truth that new legislation hopes to correct.
Governor Scott Attacks the Addiction Epidemic on Multiple Fronts
Every state has its own idea of the best way to address the opioid crisis, save lives, and crack down on drug-related crime. Governor Scott says Florida drug treatment, counseling, and drug crime prevention should all get a slice of the funding.
The Times says Scott plans to propose new legislation and $50 million in additional funding for the battle against opioid abuse. Here is how his plan breaks down:
- Implementing a 3-day limit on opioid prescription opioids unless certain conditions are met for a 7-day supply
- Mandatory participation in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for doctors and pharmacists who prescribe and dispense opioids
- Fighting against unlicensed pain management clinics
- Continuing education for doctors on responsibly prescribing opioids
- New federal grant funding opportunities
Governor Scott says he has met with many families dealing with drug addiction. His new proposals, he says, “will make a major impact on limiting the chance of drug addiction” as well as lowering the volume of drugs in communities and offering support and help for people suffering from addiction.
Florida Drug Rehab Helps Addicted People Put Their Lives Back Together
Opioids are easy to find and it is even easier to become addicted. In fact, many people become addicted while taking medication prescribed by their doctor. Leaving drugs behind is not easy. For some drugs, it can be dangerous. Once withdrawals are over, then comes the lifelong road of recovery.
Kicking opioids or any other substance is one of the most difficult things any person can do. That is why Florida drug rehab centers offer help for every stage from detox to reentering the community clean and sober.
In treatment, you will live in a safe environment with nutritious food and a caring staff of people who understand addiction. You will have opportunities for individual and group therapy, counseling, life skills training, and fitness programs that can help you stay on track as you transition out of treatment.
Florida has some of the most staggering addiction and overdose death statistics in the country. What is more unnerving is that the trend is going in the wrong direction. Despite all of the knowledge about how addictions work and which substances are more likely to cause addiction, more drugs are prescribed and more people fall prey to the long-term effects every day.
Governor Scott’s plans could help improve access to life-saving addiction treatment. If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from an addiction, the time to call is now. Learn more about admissions and the programs available today.