Scott signs legislation to combat opioid abuse

Florida Gov. Rick Scott hosted a ceremonial bill signing on Tuesday at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for HB 477, which creates new penalties and enhances existing penalties relating to synthetic opioid drugs, including fentanyl.

Gov. Rick Scott was joined by Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Office Chief Deputy Michael Gauger, Senate President Joe Negron, and local law enforcement officers.

It’s supposed to help communities fight the national opioid epidemic.

“Our law enforcement officers are working every day to stop dangerous individuals and drug trafficking, and are often the first to respond to what may be heartbreaking situations, Scott said.

“I was proud to ceremonially sign this important legislation today alongside these heroes as we fight together on behalf of the families impacted by substance abuse. We will keep working with our local, state and federal partners to help our law enforcement and communities combat the national opioid epidemic.”

Millions in funding
Scott also highlighted the more than $27 million in federal grant funding that was made immediately available through the Public Health Emergency declaration.

As part of this federal funding, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) allocated $375,000 to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for Naloxone so first responders can have immediate access to this lifesaving drug to respond to opioid overdoses.

DCF and FDLE are working together to ensure local law enforcement agencies have access to this opportunity to obtain Naloxone for Florida’s law enforcement officers. DCF is also working to ensure recently purchased Naloxone is distributed to drug treatment providers, health centers, and other community agencies.


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