Almost 2,000 Fentanyl overdoses in Florida in 2022
On August 3, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis announced an expansion of substance abuse and recovery initiatives in the state, intended to address the opioid addiction crisis being witnessed in the state.
Measures that the governor announced include a new network of addiction care known as the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE). It was also announced that Dr. Courtney Phillips will be the first Statewide Director of Opioid Recovery.
The announcement was streamed live via the governor's Twitter page:
Tackling the effects of "Biden's border crisis"
Commenting on the issue, Governor DeSantis was clear about the severity of the opioid crisis, and unrelenting in stating who or what has caused it:
“Biden’s border crisis has caused a massive infusion of drugs coming into our state. This year we increased the penalties for individuals trafficking drugs in our state, and now we are giving Floridians the tools they need to break the substance abuse cycle."
He continued, pointing out that this is more than an issue that nee
"Substance abuse can affect any family at any time, so from education to law enforcement to treatment we are going to make sure that Floridians can take advantage of this new addiction recovery model.”
Florida's fentanyl problem
Whether the problem is down to drugs flowing in from Mexico, or domestically within the U.S. it's undeniable that Florida has a fentanyl problem. Northwest Florida alone, saw a 354% increase in fentanyl deaths from 2020 to 2021, and such alarming statistics help to explain why the drug is so concerning.
In response to the issue, Governor DeSantis previously signed HB95 - the controlled substances bill into state law. It introduced measures intended to prevent the flow of the opioid and synthetic variants of it, into the United States as well as redefining offences in relation to fentanyl trafficking and misuse.
The bill also introduced harsher sentences for offences committed in relation to what it renames "dangerous fentanyl".
More recently, Florida's Attorney General Ashley Moody wrote to the Biden Administration calling upon the president to declare fentanyl a 'weapon of mass destruction'.
The combination of measures to tackle supplies of the drug, and now the help that will be provided to those who have become addicted as well as their families suggests that Florida intends to take the problem seriously - from all angles.
Do you think enough is being done to help fentanyl addicts in Florida? Do you believe that Governor DeSantis is right in blaming the issue on the Biden Administration? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.