Last week, Florida Governor Rick Scott directed the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Health (DOH) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to meet with communities to identify additional strategies to fight the rising opioid usage cases in Florida. The Attorney General’s Office will also be participating in these workshops. At the Governor’s direction, DCF Secretary Mike Carroll, Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip and FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen will travel to counties facing an increase in opioid-related deaths and host community workshops with local leaders, law enforcement, health directors, treatment providers and community members.

Florida map/National Atlas of the United States
Florida map/National Atlas of the United States

Governor Scott said, “Growing up, substance abuse was something that impacted my own family and I know firsthand what a heartbreaking burden this can be on families who have to deal with this. Behind every case of drug use is a family hoping and praying for a solution. One death caused by substance abuse is one too many, and today I have directed the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to travel the state and hear directly from communities on what resources they need to help with this growing problem. Opioid abuse is happening across our nation and it is crucial that we hear what our local communities are doing to fight the rising use of opioids and how we as the state can continue to help.

“Drug abuse has the potential to affect entire families, including innocent children. I have directed Secretary Carroll to specifically focus on children whose caregivers are struggling with addiction and what resources counties need in order to protect these kids. We are committed to doing everything we can to keep Florida safe, and I look forward to continuing to work with our federal, state and local partners to ensure our communities have the resources they need in their fight against opioid use.”

The goal of the workshops is for agency leadership and staff to hear the specific needs of these communities and provide information regarding existing resources, best practices regarding opioid use disorders, and grant opportunities. Workshops are open to the public.

The community workshops will take place:

Palm Beach County

3:00-4:30 p.m.

Monday, May 1

West Palm Beach Police Department Community Room

600 Banyan Blvd., West Palm Beach

 Manatee County

9:00-10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, May 2

The Bradenton Area Convention Center

Longboat Key Room

One Haben Blvd., Palmetto

Orange County

3:00-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 2

Orange County Board of County Commission Chambers

 201 South Rosalind Avenue, Orlando

 Duval County

9:00-10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 3

City Hall, St. James Bldg.

Lynwood Roberts Room

117 West Duval Street, Jacksonville