opioids

Associated Press

As Jacksonville city leaders are set to consider expanding an opioid pilot program for those already addicted, St. Vincent’s HealthCare is expanding another designed to minimize the prescribing of pain pills.

Psychonaught / Wikimedia Commons

Of the drug-overdose victims who have participated in a Jacksonville pilot program, almost none have relapsed, according to a report presented to City Council Tuesday.

The six month hospital-based program began in November.


Wikimedia Commons

Jacksonville has the highest rate of fentanyl-related deaths in the state, according to an annual Florida Department of Law Enforcement report.

Toby Talbot/Associated Press / Via NPR

Florida’s biggest health insurer announced Tuesday it is dropping coverage for OxyContin on Jan. 1, 2018 in an effort to help fight opioid abuse.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Former President Bill Clinton Tuesday took a tour of Orange Park Medical Center’s facilities and heard from community leaders about how Northeast Florida is dealing with the opioid crisis and addiction in general.


City of Jacksonville

The city of Jacksonville is considering suing prescription drug makers for deceptive marketing.

One city councilman believes pharmaceutical companies are complicit in Northeast Florida’s opioid addiction epidemic.


syringe on sidewalk
Eric Molina via Flickr

Councilman Bill Gulliford wants to convene a community task force to combat the opioid epidemic in Jacksonville.

He made the announcement at a town hall Thursday night, where he said heroin and other opioid overdoes kill more than three times as many people as guns do in the city.

Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with former State Senator Tony Hill about an event Friday to honor Jacksonville native and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson. We also heard about the tragedy of babies being born to opioid addicted mothers and the treatments available, and University of North Florida assistant professor of physics Jack Hewitt told us about NASA’s announcement Wednesday. 


       

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” as part of WJCT’s on going Community Thread looking into the area’s Opioid epidemic, we spoke with Dr. Scott Miles, medical director of Coastal Community Behavioral Health in St. Mary’s. Georgia. We also heard an interview with Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty about his trip to the World Economic Forum, also known as Davos. Naomi Sheridan and Jeff Tawney with Friday Musicale had a preview of next Saturday’s fundraiser featuring The Chris Thomas Band, and ahead of their concert tonight at the Mudville Music Room we heard an in-studio performance from organist John Ginty and his band. 


Thursday on First Coast Connect, 4th District medical examiner Dr. Valerie Rao and Lt. Mark Rowley, quality improvement officer with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, talked about how the opioid epidemic is straining their offices. We also spoke by phone with Abe Gol about an upcoming NOVA episode dealing with the discovery of tunnels in Lithuania used by Jews to escape the Nazi’s during the Holocaust, and Niki Brunson and Dana Miller, organizers of Saturday’s Melanin Market and Parade in Jacksonville.  

  

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

Welcome to Redux, a weekly newsmagazine from WJCT. 

This week, after the Obama administration announced it's asking Congress to pass $1.1 billion to support initiatives to help treat the nation's prescription opioid and heroin epidemic,  we look at the problem in Northeast Florida and the hurdles users face when they try to get clean. Also on the program, the Jacksonville City Council passes its annual budget, the future of Barnett Tower and the Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney.

Also, learn more about WJCT's After Hours programming, including the expansion of Relax Radio. 

The podcast is hosted by Vince Kong.


sheriff's office logo
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

A Jacksonville corrections officer is out of the job after admitting to using illegal drugs and trying to cheat a drug test.

Officer Lisa Davis was arrested and charged Monday.


BRAEBURN PHARMACEUTICALS

President Barack Obama is proclaiming it’s “Prescription Opioid and Heroin-Epidemic Awareness Week.”

As more people become addicted, he’s also asking Congress to pass $1.1 billion in new treatment funding.

But getting connected to treatment can be as difficult for struggling addicts as deciding to seek help in the first place.

Detours and traffic cones sprout every year but what is the economic impact of all that highway construction? Wednesday on First Coast Connect, Melissa Ross spoke with Jeff Sheffield, executive director of the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization; Alan Mosley from Jax Chamber; and Lisa Robert, executive vice president at transportation architectural firm RS&H. As part of our ongoing Community Thread program we heard from Dr. Marcus De Carvalho from Beaches Recovery about the opioid epidemic and the treatments being used for recovering addicts. Comedian and actor Tom Arnold spoke about his upcoming concerts in Jacksonville and we heard about next week’s ‘Girls Days Out’ conference promoting a healthy lifestyle for women. We heard from event chair Dr. Patricia McFall Calhoun from Baptist Health and local dermatologist Kristen Stewart. WJCT is co-sponsor of the event. 


Community Thread / WJCT News

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new implant to treat opioid addiction.

The medication blocks brain receptors that drive powerful addiction to pain pills.

But not everyone in Jacksonville is praising the decision. Some in law enforcement and healthcare see medication-assisted treatment as just substituting one addiction for another.