I was in Washington D.C. this week as President Donald J. Trump declared a national public health emergency to bolster efforts to combat the opioid epidemic killing Americans. An estimated 142 Americans die every day from opioid use.
I have dedicated my entire career to prosecuting drug traffickers and removing dangerous drugs from our communities—first as a state prosecutor and for the past seven years as your attorney general.
During that time, I have seen the types of drugs sold on our streets become more potent and deadly. Today heroin is often mixed with fentanyl and taking this deadly drug cocktail just one time can prove fatal.
That is why we are taking aggressive action against drug traffickers. Last legislative session we changed state law to give us more tools to go after fentanyl dealers, and we continue to partner with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to bust drug smuggling rings bringing fentanyl into Florida.
Additionally, working with attorneys general in other states, we are investigating opioid manufactures and distributors for any role they may have played in this national epidemic. I am also serving on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to develop a comprehensive plan to help increase efforts.
In closing, I want to thank President Trump and Governor Rick Scott for their leadership combating this crisis. The President’s emergency declaration will enhance our ongoing efforts to fight drug abuse and save lives.