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Feds Give Florida Another $27M for Opioid Crisis

Peter Haden/WLRN

Florida will get another $27 million dollars this year from the federal government to combat the opioid crisis.

The money is part of a two-year $54 million grant, which the state began spending last year after Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for the opioid epidemic.

The money pays for treatments, such as methadone, medication to reverse drug overdoses and counseling services.

“The Trump Administration is partnering with states and territories to accelerate the deployment of this historic level of resources provided by Congress to fight the epidemic,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a release. “These funds will help support evidence-based efforts at the state level to prevent misuse of opioids in the first place, expand access to effective treatment options for people in need, and support recovery for those who have prevailed.”

Last year, Florida spent more than $17.7 million of the grant on methadone and buprenorphine treatment and more than $3.7 million on Vivitrol, which blocks the effects of opioids.

The state used $1.7 million from the grant to pay for naloxone kits, which reverse overdoses.

The grant was included in the $65 million set aside by the legislature this year to support the state's fight against opioids.

More than $14 million of that money will be used to pay for more residential treatment beds, outpatient treatment, emergency room treatment and outreach for pregnant women with substance abuse problems.

Lawmakers also placed limits on opioid prescriptions and required doctors to consult a statewide database before prescribing the drugs.

Opioid deaths rose 35 percent in Florida during 2016. The drugs were identified as either the cause of death or as being present in the decedent's system in 5,725 cases.

Copyright 2018 Health News Florida

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