opioid epidemic

Florida Could Get Share Of Purdue Pharma Money

Mar 16, 2021
Mark Lennihan / Associated Press

Florida could get a share of a $7 billion bankruptcy plan filed late Monday by Purdue Pharma to dissolve the company and steer its assets toward abating the nation’s opioid epidemic.

More Floridians are dying from drug overdoses amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from the Orlando-based advocacy group Project Opioid.

The report looks at preliminary data from the Florida Department of Health and found overdose deaths between March and August of this year went up by at least 43 percent compared to the same time last year. Deaths in the month of May nearly doubled.

Close-up of Oxycodone bottle.
Cindy Shebley / Flickr.com

A free at-home medication disposal program is looking to address opioid overdoses, which have spiked in Jacksonville and across the country since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

hands holding a box of Narcan spray
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Duval County saw a 25% increase in overdose 911 calls from mid-March until now, year over year.

Florida, Other States Agree To $1.6 Billion Drug Settlement

Feb 26, 2020
Generic drugmaker Mallinckrodt has a tentative $1.6 billion deal to settle lawsuits over its role in the U.S. opioid crisis. Pictured is the drugmaker's St. Louis office.
Whitney Curtis / AP Images for Mallinckrodt, File

Florida is part of a national settlement with generic drug manufacturer Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, which has tentatively agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits stemming from the opioid epidemic. 

Faith Matters: The Opioid Epidemic

May 20, 2019
Naloxone needles
Jeff Anderson via Flickr

It’s the worst drug epidemic in modern American history. In 2017 alone, 3,245 Floridians died from overdoses of heroin, fentanyl or other opioids. On this episode of Faith Matters, we examine the role that communities of faith play in helping addicts get and stay clean.

Opioid Alternative Education Bill Ready For Governor

May 1, 2019
Close-up of Oxycodone bottle.
Cindy Shebley / Flickr.com

The Florida Department of Health will be required to develop and distribute an educational pamphlet regarding the use of non-opioid alternatives to treat pain, under a bill that received final approval from the Florida Legislature on Tuesday.

A Quarter Of Florida Docs, Dentists Skip Required Opioid Training

Feb 4, 2019
Close-up of Oxycodone bottle.
Cindy Shebley / Flickr.com

About one in four Florida health care providers failed to take a two-hour continuing education course on proper opioid prescribing by the required Jan. 31 deadline, according to state officials.

Haley, Nelson, and Gregory in UF Health Jacksonville's Neonatal unit.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson was in Jacksonville on Wednesday, two days after the Senate passed a sweeping bipartisan bill aimed at fighting the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Associated Press

The Florida Blue Foundation recently announced that it will be giving a three-year, $2-million grant to Jacksonville-based LSF Health Systems to fund a pilot project aimed at fighting the state’s epidemic of opioid overdoses.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Last year the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department responded to more than 3,700 overdose calls. About 2,400 of the calls happened between January and August, which is about a 70 percent increase from that span in 2015.

USDA

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we discussed the progress involving treating opioid addiction on the First Coast with Beaches Recovery Medical Director Dr. Marcus Decarvalho and Teresa Holton, Client Care Coordinator and an alumna of the program (01:06).

Court-Aided Intervention Available For Addicts

Jul 16, 2018
The Jacksonville Daily Record

Established in 1993, the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act provides for emergency assistance and temporary detention for people who need substance abuse evaluation or treatment.

DEA

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Dr. Raymond Pomm about the opioid and heroin epidemics and a report from the Palm Beach Post that asserts the slow approach by Florida lawmakers to passing legislation to combat the problem helped lead to an increase in the epidemic (01:14).

Jim Gilmore

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Marion Tischler from RE:MIND, an initiative from local spiritual leaders to help people deal with chemical dependency and mental illness (01:10).     

Duval County Medical Society

The president-elect of the American Medical Association and the president of the Florida Medical Association are opening the 2018 Future of Healthcare Conference Monday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

Opioid Lawsuit

The state of Florida is going after major opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday at a recovery center in Tampa announced the state is seeking to recover all damages allowable. She predicted a likely settlement in the billions.

Bondi said 15 people die every day in Florida from opioid abuse. More than 10,000 Floridians have died from what Bondi calls the state’s “opioid crisis.”

Medical Marijuana

Friday our First Coast Connect Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi, Action News Jax anchor John Bachman, radio host and former First Coast News anchor Angela Spears and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons.

Issues discussed included:

Ray Hollister / WJCT News

A Jacksonville City Council committee voted Monday in favor of expanding and extending an opioid intervention pilot program called “Project Save Lives” that previously had been scheduled to end soon.

WKU / Creative Commons

As the number of opioid overdoses continues climbing in Northeast Florida, a new clinic focused on battling addiction is opening in Springfield, just north of downtown Jacksonville.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with local attorney Mike Freed about the city of Jacksonville filing a lawsuit against major drug manufacturers over the opioid crisis (01:06).

We were joined by Board President Chris Schwing to discuss this year’s Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum (29:21).

Players by the Sea creative Marketing Manager Bradley Akers and Director Kris Jackson talked about their New Voices program (46:00).    

Vivitrol

Florida House members are considering cutting funding for programs that supply patients with a powerful addiction-fighting drug.

A Jacksonville addiction specialist says that move could make it harder to stem the opioid epidemic.

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter Dan Scanlan, WJCT business analyst John Burr and Beaches Leader columnist Jon McGowan. 


Jacksonville City Hall, St. James Building
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The city of Jacksonville has taken another step toward suing pharmaceutical companies for their alleged role in the city’s opioid addiction crisis.

Carl- Johan Sveningsson / Flickr

Monday on First Coast Connect we talked about a staggering increase in opioid-related deaths on the First Coast and what is being done about it with Gateway Community Services Medical Director Dr. Raymond Pomm and River Region Human Services and Addiction Specialist Dr. Amit Vijapura (01:09).   

Daughters of the British Empire spokesperson Ann Robards told us about the Jacksonville arm of the organization, the Clarence House Chapter (32:30).    

Native Sun founder Aaron Gottlieb told us how to pick out the proper turkey for Thanksgiving (40:50).

Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars messy win in Cleveland and previewed this Saturday’s Florida - Florida State game and the upcoming schedule of the Jacksonville Icemen (46:00). 

 

Frankie Leon / Flickr Creative Commons

More than a week after President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic; Florida lawmakers are considering implementing one of his federal recommendations on the state level.

Sunshine State leaders will decide whether to expand the use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program during next year’s legislative session.

But one Jacksonville doctor says that measure is treating the wrong addiction crisis.


Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect, in response to President Donald Trump declaring opioids a national health emergency, we looked at what is being done locally with Dr. Marcus De Carvalho from the Center for a Healthy Mind and Wellbeing (01:12).  

    

Melissa spoke with former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson about her fight against sexual harassment in the workplace. Her Ted Talk in New Orleans this week will be simulcast in Jacksonville at the TedXFSCJ Women talk.

Women’s Center of Jacksonville Board President Lise Everly and TedXFSCJ student Kathryn Sands discussed the local portion of the program (29:44).

Our latest segment of Moveable Feast featured Executive Chef Dennis Chan from Blue Bamboo (46:06).  


City of Jacksonville

The same week President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency; officials in Jacksonville are readying a lawsuit against companies who manufacture the drug.

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” we hear about September being National Recovery Month with Lakeview Health’s Juan Deas and alumni manager Ashley Harris (01:03).  

Author and former land manager Terri Mashour joined us to talk about her new book,  “Backcounty Trails of Florida: A Guide to Hiking Florida’s Water Management Districts.” (32:47)      

Creator Keith Marks joined the show to discuss the launch of Avant Radio on 89.9 on Sunday (41:49).

autopsy table
Finalwitness via Flickr

For the third year in a row, the proposed Jacksonville city budget contains no money for updating or expanding the medical examiner’s office —that’s despite an increased workload and overcrowding from drug-overdose deaths.

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