Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and 211 are working together to combat the opioid crisis in that state.
Moody’s office announced Wednesday that her office would be working with 211 to help provide information and resources for those affected by their or others’ opioid use disorder. 211 – a free, telephone hotline throughout Florida and the United States that provides confidential information and referral services – would share resources from Moody’s website – DoseOfRealityFL.com. In exchange, the comprehensive statewide resource website would point visitors to 211 local resources.
“This partnership is designed to help Floridians, in their greatest time of need, access vital and life-saving resources. I am proud to partner with the dedicated public servants at 211 as we join forces to combat and end the deadly opioid crisis plaguing our state. If you are seeking help, please do not hesitate to dial 211, and for a comprehensive view of ways you can join our fight to end the opioid crisis, visit DoseOfRealityFL.com,” Moody said.
Recent reports indicate that not only did opioid deaths increase in 2019 but that they are likely to skyrocket in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention show that nearly 71,000 Americans died of fatal overdoses in 2019. It’s likely, the CDC said, that number could increase by as many as 1,000. That number eclipses the record high in 2017 of 70,237.
According to data collected by the Washington, D.C.-based Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) at the University of Baltimore, drug overdose deaths have increased by an estimated 18 percent during the pandemic. More than 60 percent of counties participating in the information-gathering project have reported increases in drug overdoses.
Moody launched DoseOfRealityFL.com in September 2019 as a way to educate Floridians about the dangers of misusing opioids and other drugs. Its partnership with 211 will provide a one-stop-shop for information about opioid use, resources for businesses, caregivers, educators, parents, seniors, and others.
“We are proud to partner with Dose of Reality to raise awareness about the resources available to those with opioid use disorder. 211 is a critical resource, and we encourage residents of Florida to dial 211 or visit our websites to connect with the local programs and services that can help them,” Sheila Smith, president and CEO of 211 Broward, said.