TALLAHASSEE – As Florida grapples with nearly 2,000 overdose deaths so far this year, state leaders on Wednesday announced a “massive” effort to address opioid addiction in counties that need it most.
The initiative, which includes Florida’s first statewide director of opioid recovery, is based on a pilot treatment program in Palm Beach County that state health officials touted as a success.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the program’s rollout in Brevard County, which last year saw a 72 percent increase in overdose deaths related to the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl. The Coordinated Opioid Recovery, or CORE, Network soon will be launched in Brevard and six other counties in the first phase of the program’s expansion, according to a press release issued by DeSantis’ office Wednesday.
Clay, Escambia, Gulf, Marion, Pasco and Volusia counties also will be in the first group of counties to receive what the the governor described as a network of addiction care.
“These are counties that have a demonstrated need for the services, they have existing programs that can serve as a foundation, they have strong interest from community partners and they are actively interested in supporting the network,” said DeSantis, who was joined by a host of other state and local officials at Wednesday’s event.