Initiative combats Florida opioid overdose, abuse

Initiative combats Florida opioid overdose, abuse

Florida Department of Health (Department) officials said $6.6 million in grant funds has been earmarked to aid local communities in the fight against all-drug overdose and opioid abuse.

The funding allotment via the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) Grant would be distributed to 14 counties. The Department’s receipt of the $58.8 million OD2A grant was first announced on October 2, 2019, by First Lady Casey DeSantis as part of her Hope for Healing Florida initiative.

“The fight against drug overdose and opioid abuse is a crisis we must overcome,” DeSantis said. “Although there is much work ahead of us, providing these funds at the local level is a crucial step in our path forward.”

OD2A initiates a range of approaches focused on increasing timeliness of overdose surveillance data; building state and local capacity to implement evidence-based public health practices; making Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) easier to use and access; and working with health systems, insurers, and communities to improve opioid prescribing.

“Local communities are at the forefront in this fight to end drug overdose and opioid addiction in our local communities,” Lt. Gov.Jeanette Nuñez, said. “Providing these funds to fight this crisis is critical to our efforts to end this public health crisis in Florida.”

The effort also adds new work focused on linkages to care and innovative strategies, such as pilot projects focusing on community paramedicine and school health.

“The misuse, addiction, and overdosing of opioids and other drugs are a serious public health problem in our communities,” Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, said. “The Department is committed to strengthening their capacity to develop innovative, community-based programs that save lives and help families recover from the devastating effects.”