TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Governor Ron DeSantis announced an expansion of the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) network to help combat the opioid epidemic, according to a Wednesday press release by the Governor’s office.
The release says CORE was first tested in Palm Beach County for about two years and is now growing to service as many as twelve counties. The first of two phases in the expansion will include the counties of Brevard, Clay, Duval, Escambia, Gulf, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, and Volusia.
“Substance abuse can affect any family at any time, so from education to law enforcement to treatment we are going to make sure that Floridians can take advantage of this new addiction recovery model,” Gov. DeSantis said.
The Wednesday announcement was made in Rockledge, a city in Brevard County. The release says that last year, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Team observed a 72% rise in fentanyl-related drug overdoses.
Governor DeSantis also announced that Dr. Courtney Phillips would be the first Statewide Director of Opioid Recovery.
“The state of Florida should be proud today to take the lead on systematically tackling the opioid and substance use epidemic with compassion and competent care,” Dr. Phillips said. “Our state and communities did not choose this epidemic, but today we choose to treat this medical and psychiatric illness like any other, with access, evidence based care, and lifelong comprehensive treatment.”
Dr. Philips is the current Director of Behavioral Health for the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, with the release saying her new role will involve “offer[ing] clinical consultations for addicts seeking treatment and recovery services.”
Florida has already seen 2,000 fatal overdoses this year, according to the release.
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