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We Get an Update on Efforts to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Florida

Peter Haden / WLRN

The US is still struggling with opioid addiction, and Florida continues to experience some of the highest opioid overdose rates in the country. Last year hospitals in Florida treated approximately 18,000 opioid overdoses...that’s almost 50 every day. Former governor Rick Scott declared a public health emergency in May of 2017, and last September Florida was granted 27 million dollars in federal funding to help fight the opioid crisis -- that was part of a two-year, 54 million dollar grant awarded to the state to pay for treatment, counseling and medication to reverse drug overdoses.

We’re joined by two guests to help us get a handle on how the public health emergency declaration, and this new federal funding, might be helping to curb the effects of the crisis -- and to take a look ahead to see what might happen during the 2019 legislative session. We're joined by Keri Riedel, she is Assistant Vice President of Outpatient Services at SalusCare in Fort Myers; and Mark Fontaine, he is executive director of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association.