This week, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order establishing Florida’s Statewide Task Force on Opioid Drug Abuse. I am honored and humbled to serve as Chair of this vital 21-member team. From my very first day in office, we sought a formalized statewide structure to meet this crisis head on, and I am grateful to Governor DeSantis for taking swift action to establish this task force.
As a former federal prosecutor and circuit judge, I have seen how drug abuse destroys families and harms our state. When I began my campaign for Attorney General, I talked about the devastating reality that Florida lost 14 people to opioid overdoses every day. As I traveled the state, I had parents cry on my shoulder as they told me of losing their child to this epidemic.
Now, 17 people a day are dying from opioid abuse in Florida.
Given these heartbreaking statistics, I made ending the opioid crisis a top priority of my administration. During my first week in office, we assembled a working group of experts to examine the crisis. Just before Legislative Session began, the working group issued a report of recommendations.
Establishing a statewide task force to continue to build upon the foundation laid by these experts was a top recommendation of our working group. We immediately sought legislation to create the statewide task force, and now, with the Governor’s Executive Order, we are able to begin this important work even sooner.
I want to again thank Governor DeSantis for appointing me Chair of the Statewide Task Force on Opioid Drug Abuse. I am honored to help lead this mission and look forward to bolstering our ongoing efforts against this deadly crisis.
Working together we will save lives and protect Florida families