After receiving $500,000 in 2017, Manatee County’s Opioid Peer Coach Pilot Program, contracted through First Step of Sarasota, has gotten off to a slow start due to rigorous background checks, officials say.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa, arrested and charged 22-year-old Corey Damond Smith with the federal charge of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Tuesday that she had filed "the most comprehensive lawsuit in the country" against the largest manufacturers and distributors of opioids, joined by 40 other states.
While substance abuse facilities try to help people overcome their addictions, overdoses sometimes occur on their very grounds as occurred recently at a First Step of Sarasota residential facility. This most recent incident involved eight patients at the same time.
The latest Medical Examiners Commission Drug in Deceased Persons report released in April examines the occurrences of drugs in Florida deaths for the first half of 2017. District 12, which encompasses these three counties, was third behind West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale for the amount of deaths caused by or related to fentanyl analogs.
With the backing of local sheriffs, mental health professionals and two mothers who lost their sons to the opioid epidemic, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan introduced a seven-part bill to tackle the opioid epidemic at multiple angles on Monday.
In a conversation with members of the community and No Longer Silent, the sheriff discussed the status of his office’s battle with the opioid epidemic; but the conversation morphed into how important treatment is.
Centerstone of Florida CEO Melissa Larkin-Skinner was part of a panel Thursday that addressed the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss funding issues for the fight against opioid addiction.