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Rick Scott’s Self Serving Politics Made Opioid Crisis Worse

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Rick Scott’s Self Serving Politics Made Opioid Crisis Worse

 

Below is a statement from FDP spokesperson Caroline Rowland on Rick Scott signing opioid legislation:

 

“Instead of touring the state gloating about his abysmal response to a major health crisis, Rick Scott should be apologizing to the families and communities devastated by his inaction, cuts to funding and eliminations of the office charged with reducing substance abuse. The Republican attorney general called the opioid funding ‘nothing’ while Florida remains at the very bottom in funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment. This is just one more example of Rick Scott putting this own self serving political agenda ahead of the people of Florida, which in this case, exacerbated an already deadly epidemic." 

 

RICK SCOTT’S ABYSMAL, SELF-SERVING RECORD ON THE OPIOID CRISIS: SLASHED FUNDING FOR ADDICTION SERVICES, ELIMINATED THE OFFICE OF DRUG CONTROL, ACTIONS “NOT ENOUGH” AND “TOO SMALL”

 

  • Florida Times-Union Editorial: “Action is lacking” in Florida and Scott’s proposed funding is “nothing” Attorney General Pam Bondi said Scott’s proposed funding was “nothing.” While 14 people die from drug overdose every day in Florida, the state has “no dedicated agency to lead and coordinate” the response. Scott ignored his own Drug Policy Advisory Council that recommended bringing back the Office of Drug Control he “scrapped it in 2011 at the height of the pill mill crisis.” “The state of Florida has been slow to respond” and refused to expand Medicaid, “a prime funding source of substance abuse treatment.” [Editorial, Florida Times-Union, 2/4/18]

 

Capitol News Service: Under Scott Florida Cut Mental Health And Addiction Services By Over $11 Million in 2017. [WCTV, 7/11/17]

 

 Pensacola News Journal: Scott “Took Major Step Backward In Effort To Fight Substance Abuse” By Closing Office Of Drug Control. “Gov.-elect Rick Scott took a major step backward in the effort to fight substance abuse in Florida by closing the Office of Drug Control. His ill-advised decision sends a message that drug abuse is no longer a problem or a priority in this state. But nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to drugs and alcohol, and the massive costs and problems associated with abusing them. The harsh reality is that substance abuse exacts a costly toll in terms of prosecution and imprisonment. The costs of drug and alcohol abuse to the state have risen to a staggering $46 billion. There also are many broken homes and ruined lives.” [Editorial, Pensacola News Journal, 12/28/10]

 

 Scott “Stunned Law Enforcement” When He Proposed Eliminating Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Claimed It Was Not “Something The State Ought To Be Doing.” “Scott earlier this month had stunned law enforcement, legislators and Floridians who have lost relatives to pain pill abuse when he proposed eliminating the ‘prescription drug monitoring program,’ or PDMP. ‘I don't think it's the state's responsibility,’ Scott said at a press briefing on Feb. 14. "I don't think it's something the state ought to be doing.” [Sun Sentinel, 2/26/11]

 

Miami Herald Editorial Board: Scott’s Efforts On Opioid Crisis Were “Not Enough,” “Too Small.” “State officials are on the case. Gov. Rick Scott extended his declaration of a public health emergency to distribute $27 million in federal money for various treatment and prevention programs, including $17.8 million for medication-assisted treatment and related counseling. A three-year minimum sentence for people caught with 4 grams of fentanyl or carfentanyl approved by the Legislature this spring and signed into law by Scott should be another deterrent to dealers. The $10.5 million in state money allocated by Tallahassee to reduce opioid dependency will help as well. But it’s not enough. The scale of this effort remains too small.” [Editorial, Miami Herald, 7/10/17]