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Gov. Scott directs statewide public health emergency for opioid epidemic

Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 17-146 Wednesday directing a Public Health Emergency across the state, declaring a national opioid epidemic. (MGN)

Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 17-146 Wednesday directing a Public Health Emergency across the state, declaring a national opioid epidemic.

According to the governor's office, the state is allowed to immediately draw more than $27 million in federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Opioid State Targeted Response Grant.

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip also issued a standing order for Naloxen, an emergency treatment that will be made available for first responders during an opioid overdose.

“Last month, I 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 in Palm Beach, Manatee, Duval and Orange Counties to identify additional strategies to fight the rising opioid usage cases in Florida," Gov. Scott said.

“I know firsthand how heartbreaking substance abuse can be to a family because it impacted my own family growing up. The individuals struggling with drug use are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends and each tragic case leaves loved ones searching for answers and praying for help."

Attorney General Pam Bondi said the declaration will help strengthen continued efforts to combat the epidemic that claims the lives of Florida citizens.

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