Opioid workshop puts pressure on Florida lawmakers to find solutions

Posted at 5:27 PM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 17:27:47-04

Governor Rick Scott directed the heads of state agencies to meet with communities impacted by the Opioid epidemic. The group met with Palm Beach leaders on Monday and Manatee County leaders on Tuesday.  About a dozen police, healthcare, and rehab representatives from Manatee County spoke about the ongoing drug issue.

"We really need more funding for narcan on the streets," said Sheriff Rick Wells.

Other county leaders spoke for the need to have more treatment centers available. The number of overdose patients paramedics treat each year doubles.

There was a also a public forum for residents to speak out about their experience during the drug epidemic.  About two dozen people spoke during the public forum.

Gerri Stanhope's son overdosed a few years ago.

"I think this is just talk, I'm hopefully there's some action after this," said Stanhope.

State leaders said they were just awarded $54 million in federal funds to help treat at fight the Opioid epidemic. They pledged to start helping Manatee County residents by this summer.

"We hope to begin putting that money on the street as early as next month," said DCF Secretary Mike Carroll.