Gov. Scott to make major announcement regarding Florida's fight against opioid abuse

Posted at 5:05 AM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 06:33:39-04

Governor Rick Scott will be making a major announcement on Tuesday regarding Florida's fight against opioid abuse.

In May, Governor Scott signed an Executive Order directing a Public Health Emergency following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declaring a national opioid epidemic. The order stated that the opioid abuse "Poses a severe threat to the State of Florida and requires that measures are taken to protect the communities and general welfare of this State."

RELATED | Gov. Scott directs statewide public emergency for opioid epidemic

Signing the Emergency Order allowed the state to immediately take advantage of more than $27 million in federal grant funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Opioid State Targeted Response Grant, which was awarded to Florida to provide prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.

See the Executive Order and Public Health Emergency here.

Governor Scott will hold two press conferences addressing the issue. The first press conference will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Bradenton Police Department. The second will take place at 3 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Hillsborough County is hosting it's own summit on Tuesday to address the opioid crisis.  Medical, mental health, and law enforcement will be attending. In addition to nationally known experts and a presentation on "The State of the Opioid Crisis in Hillsborough County,'' the summit includes a panel discussion with the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office.

 In 2016, the majority of the county's 197 fatal drug overdoses involved opioid use.

An increasing number of fatal overdoses involve heroin and fentanyl. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner recorded 35 deaths associated with fentanyl from January 1 through July 31 of 2017.