U.S. House passes opioid bill supported by Congressman Buchanan

State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act would authorize $9 billion in funding over six years

U.S. House passes opioid bill supported by Congressman Buchanan
Vern Buchanan

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The House of Representatives passed legislation to provide states with resources to combat the opioid crisis.

Congress Vern Buchanan supported the bill and gathered information on the crisis in the Suncoast. Florida has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus.

According to the statistics from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office, 52 opioid fatalities already have been recorded so far this year in Sarasota County quadruple the 13 fatalities in all of 2019. The number of non-fatal overdoses also skyrocketed, increasing from 88 in all of 2019 to 231 this year.

Manatee County also reported an increase in non-fatal overdoses, but at a much smaller pace with 646 so far this year versus 636 in all of 2019. There have already been 77 fatal overdoses in Manatee County -- the same number as in all of 2019.

“As we continue to combat coronavirus, we also need to make sure we don’t ignore the spiraling drug epidemic,” Buchanan said. “These funds will help address a devastating problem in our region and throughout Florida.”

The State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act would authorize $9 billion in funding over the next six years to help states including Florida combat the rising opioid epidemic.

State Opioid Response grants provide flexible funding to state governments to support prevention, treatment and recovery efforts. These funds can be used to provide additional treatment beds, hire workers to expand treatment and recovery options and train individuals to administer overdose reversal medication and other FDA-approved medications like methadone and buprenorphine. The State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act would codify this vital grant program for the next six years, giving states like Florida badly needed funding for treatment and prevention.

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