Governor Scott Signed Legislation to Combat Opioid Abuse

On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation targeting the reduction of synthetic opioid drug abuse by way of enhanced penalties for the abuse of fentanyl and its many derivatives.

On May 3, following an announcement by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Gov. Scott signed Executive Order 17-146, which allows the state to begin tapping into the $27 million in grant funding it was awarded from United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of the Opioid State Targeted Response Grant.

The governor’s signature on House Bill 477 comes at a time when the opioid epidemic is known to kill thousands of Floridians annually.

Per a 2015 Florida Department of Law Enforcement report, “The drugs that caused the most deaths were benzodiazepines (1,140, including 588 alprazolam deaths and 163 diazepam deaths), cocaine (967), morphine (895), ethyl alcohol (810), heroin (733), fentanyl (705), oxycodone (565), methadone (290), and hydrocodone (236). Heroin (94.1 percent), fentanyl (77.4 percent), methadone (64.0 percent), morphine (60.4 percent), cocaine (52.7 percent), and oxycodone (52.3 percent) were listed as causing death in…

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