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Governor Rick Scott, The Opioid Crisis Is A Public Health Emergency

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Public Health EmergencyIf we asked you what the biggest public health emergency in Florida is today, what would you say? You might say the opioid epidemic, and we’d say you’re not far off. And while Florida Governor Rick Scott has not ruled out declaring opioid addiction a public health emergency, he is still unfortunately “reviewing it.”

Florida Public Health Emergency

The Governor made his statement recently at the Palm Beach County Health Department, where local health officials met to discuss health issues that affect our area.  Last year, the main focus was placed on Zika, a serious virus carried by infected mosquitoes that can cause neurological birth defects. The disease affected 2,000 people and resulted in no deaths, yet it was decreed a public health emergency. But while opioid overdose deaths have claimed an estimated 3,896 lives in Florida alone (and you can unfortunately expect that number to climb), no real action has been taken to acknowledge it as the public health emergency that it is.

Palm Beach County Commissioner, Melissa McKinlay, who was the first health official to put in a formal request to Governor Scott, asking that he make the opioid addiction and overdose a public health emergency, expressed some serious concerns recently according to the Palm Beach Post.

In McKinlay’s letter, she pointed out some devastating truths:

  • Hospital visit costs related to heroin in Florida had been more than $1 billion in 2015 – $4.1 million a day according to a Palm Beach Post report.
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement showed that there was an estimated 80% increase in heroin overdose deaths in 2016 and an outstanding 77% increase in deaths related to fentanyl from 2014-2015.
  • In 2016, more than 500 lives were lost to the opioid overdose epidemic in Palm Beach County according to a report given at a Sober Homes Task Force meeting by the State Attorney’s Office.
  • In addition, states like Virginia and Massachusetts have already declared a public health emergency for opioid addiction.

At this time, McKinlay has not heard back yet, but is hoping that Governor Rick Scott will take this as seriously as he took the Zika virus.

Recovery In Palm Beach County, Fl

Although Palm Beach County, Florida has been in the news a lot lately, highlighting the heroin overdose crisis and bad sober homes, there are still many good treatment centers that are accredited and licensed. There is also a very large recovery community here in south Florida that are helping those still sick and suffering find hope and healing. This is not just an issue that Florida is facing; this is an issue that the nation is fighting against, and there is hope and there is recovery.

Addiction Treatment

If you or your loved one is fighting for recovery from heroin and may or may not be at a bad sober home right now, please contact us. We don’t want to see one more life taken by this disease when we know there is a way out and a program of recovery works. Call 1- 800-861-1768 now for more information.

We also urge that wherever you send your loved one for treatment, to please make sure they are accredited and licensed by the state.  If you know of any sober homes or treatment centers  that are engaging in fraudulent behavior, please contact the Sober Homes Task Force today. Your call could help save even more lives.




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