- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis have announced plans to create an Office of Opioid Recovery.
- The initiative will utilize $205.7 million from the state’s Opioid Settlement Agreement.
- The office will operate as part of the Department of Children and Families and oversee treatment and recovery efforts throughout the state.
- The funds will be used to establish the office, improve access to treatment and recovery services, and expand the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) Network.
- The money will also be used to develop educational prevention materials and distribute 186,000 naloxone kits.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced plans on Friday to utilize $205.7 million from the state’s Opioid Settlement Agreement to create an Office of Opioid Recovery.
The office will operate as an arm of the Department of Children and Families and will oversee treatment and recovery efforts throughout the state. The money will be spent on establishing the office, improving access to treatment and recovery services, and developing educational prevention materials, as well as expanding the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) Network.
“The urgency to combat substance abuse is only escalating – we are no longer talking about the drugs from ten years ago, and the key to protecting our children is prevention,” said First Lady DeSantis. “Through The Facts. Your Future., materials like what was shown today, and improved substance abuse prevention instruction in schools, students are educated to make decisions that protect their health and see, with their own eyes, the dangerous impact of illicit drug use. In Florida, we are equipping students with the tools they need to overcome challenges and withstand peer pressure to say no to drug use.”
The CORE Network, a connected care model, will be expanded to an additional 17 counties with the Opioid Settlement Agreement funding. Florida will also pilot a program in hard-to-reach and rural areas using up to five on-demand mobile treatment teams that offer medication-assisted treatment.
The mobile teams will provide on-site assessments, recovery support services, and medications for substance abuse. The Opioid Settlement Funds will also be used to distribute 186,000 naloxone kits to hospitals, county health departments, and community behavioral health settings to plan for naloxone saturation needs.
Last November, the Florida Department of Health announced an initiative to ensure access to naloxone, commonly known by its brand name Narcan to all counties in the state. Naloxone is an overdose response medication used following exposure to potentially lethal doses of fentanyl or other opioids.
The Florida Opioid Settlement Agreement is a legal agreement between the state of Florida and several major pharmaceutical companies to settle claims related to their alleged role in the opioid epidemic. The agreement was announced in September 2021 and is expected to result in a payout of approximately $1.1 billion from pharmaceutical companies.
Under the terms of the agreement, pharmaceutical companies, including Walgreens, will pay the state of Florida $1.1 billion over a period of 18 years. The funds are intended to be used to support addiction treatment and prevention programs, as well as other efforts to combat the opioid crisis in the state.
The settlement resolves allegations that the pharmaceutical companies played a role in creating the opioid epidemic by engaging in deceptive marketing practices and failing to adequately monitor and report suspicious orders of prescription opioids. The companies have denied any wrongdoing but have agreed to settle the claims to avoid further litigation.