Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has made a pivotal policy shift and has announced a multi-million dollar plan to battle the opioid crisis in Florida.
Gov. DeSantis made his plan public at a press conference in Destin, Florida where he confirmed his administration will be directing $205.7 million towards state and local programs that will prevent and treat opioid usage.
The funds will also institute the Office of Opioid Recovery, which will oversee treatment and recovery efforts statewide.
The Office of Opioid Recovery will assemble under the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and will provide researchers with the ability to identify problems with opioids and suggest the best practices to put more Floridians on the path to recovery.
This office will also manage all state affairs for care, prevention, treatment, and recovery for individuals battling opioid addiction or mental illness.
DeSantis seems to be most proud of his expansion of the CORE network, as he listed it first on a recent tweet where he flexed the state's newest plan.
Florida is treating substance abuse:
- $26.8 Million to expand the CORE Network
- $10.2 Million to establish the Office of Opioid Recovery
- $39.4 Million for Prevention
- $92.5 Million for Treatment
- $25.3 Million for Recovery & Peer Support
- $11.3 Million for New Database pic.twitter.com/JdfDMVZaDF
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 17, 2023
The DeSantis Administration previously took action to create the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) network last summer, which was placed in 12 counties to combat the spread of the illicit use of opioids in Florida.
This new plan will expand that number to 17 counties of the 67 counties in Florida.
Since its inception, CORE has provided for and evaluated more than 2,682 people for opioid use disorder, and it has a retention rate of 70% with an average relapse of 2%.
"We want to stop illicit drugs from entering our state, hold dealers accountable, educate Floridians on the dangers and provide treatment that breaks the addiction cycle," Gov. DeSantis said.
"Opioid addiction is plaguing our state and nation, and we are seeing more fatalities related to overdose than ever before with fentanyl being trafficked through the southern border. We will use funds from the opioid settlement in the most efficient and effective way possible to end addiction in Florida," added DeSantis.
For Republicans, this issue indirectly ties into the impending border crisis. Governor DeSantis has also made this issue a top priority, even visiting the Southern Border himself to survey the situation.
A potential 2024 presidential run could reference policies such as these to prove his long-standing activism against illegal immigration.