This week, I met with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and our great federal partners in Tampa to discuss strategies to combat the national opioid crisis claiming lives in Florida. We work constantly with the DOJ, FBI, DEA and our great state and local law enforcement agencies to capture and prosecute drug traffickers smuggling deadly heroin and fentanyl into our state.
My office is also aggressively investigating major manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids, and will soon be selecting an outside counsel to advance our efforts. This national epidemic has casted its shadow on too many cities across America and far too many families have felt the devastating effect of addiction. That is why we must fight this crisis on multiple fronts.
The task at hand is great, but as a career prosecutor and a member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis I am committed to combating this crisis.
A key component of this fight includes legislation aimed at stopping addiction before it begins. Florida lawmakers are making great progress on a bill to limit initial prescriptions for opioid-based painkillers. By limiting the amount of powerful painkillers prescribed in most cases of acute pain, we can decrease the likelihood that a patient becomes addicted.
I want to thank Attorney General Sessions, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida Maria Chapa Lopez and DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Division Jeff Walsh for their commitment to combat this crisis. I also want to thank Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and Representative Jim Boyd for sponsoring life-saving legislation to bolster our continued efforts.