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Intersection: Florida’s Opioid Crisis

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A Florida bill would allow needle exchange programs to operate across the state.

The opioid epidemic is now a statewide public health emergency. In Orange County alone, heroin overdose deaths have spiked this year.

Governor Rick Scott’s declaration of a public health emergency follows on from the CDC’s declaration of a nationwide opioid epidemic.

The declaration does a couple things: allowing Florida to draw down millions of dollars in federal funding for prevention, treatment and recovery, and there’s a standing order for Naloxone. That’s the overdose reversal drug that’s become part of the toolkit for first responders.

So what’s driving the opioid epidemic, and with Gov. Scott’s emergency declaration, how are health and law enforcement authorities responding?

90.7’s Abe Aboraya joins us along with Carol Burkett, director of Orange County’s Drug Free Office to talk about next steps for combating opioid addiction in Central Florida.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »