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The 21-member Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse, chaired by Attorney General Ashley Moody, was created by Executive Order 19-97 in 2019, in the wake of the Opioid Epidemic, knowing that a coordinated and comprehensive statewide drug control and substance abuse prevention strategy is imperative for education, prevention, treatment, recovery and law enforcement efforts.

Introduction

The 21-member Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse, chaired by Attorney General Ashley Moody, was created by Executive Order 19-97 in 2019, in the wake of the Opioid Epidemic, knowing that a coordinated and comprehensive statewide drug control and substance abuse prevention strategy is imperative for education, prevention, treatment, recovery and law enforcement efforts.

Members include mental health experts, law enforcement officers, legislators, a State Attorney and Public Defender, as well as experts in the fields of addiction, education and social services.

About the Opioid Epidemic

Prescription opioid misuse is currently the number one public health threat both nationally and in the Sunshine State. Of the top 15 cities for opioid misuse, two are in Florida – Panama City and Pensacola – and American Enterprise Institute research shows non-fatal overdoses cost the state $31.8 billion a year.

Opioids are a family of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone and Oxycodone, as well as illegal drugs like heroin. Repeated misuse of prescription opioids can lead to substance use disorder (also known as addiction), and even death. Each day, 117 Americans die of opioid overdoses, 17 a day in Florida.

Task Force Duties

The Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse was created to research and assess the nature of opioid drug abuse in Florida and develop a statewide strategy to identify best practices to combat the opioid epidemic through education, treatment, prevention, recovery and law enforcement.

  • Recommendations should include how the state can best use resources and funding to combat the opioid epidemic.
  • The Task Force will gather information as required and present recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

Task Force Members

  • Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chair
  • Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education
  • Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families
  • Surgeon General, Department of Health
  • Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections
  • Secretary of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Sheriff Tommy Ford, Bay County
  • Police Chief Rick Jenkins, North Palm Beach P.D.
  • State Attorney Melissa Nelson, 4th Circuit
  • Public Defender, pending appointment
  • Dr. Heather Flynn
  • Melanie Brown-Woofter
  • Judge Steven Leifman, 11th Circuit
  • Gov. At Large Appointment, pending appointment
  • Gov. At Large Appointment, pending appointment
  • Senator Tom Lee
  • Representative Michael Caruso
  • Sheriff Dennis Lemma, Seminole County
  • Jim Boyd
  • MaryLynn Ulrey

Meetings

Date Location
October 11, 2019
10:00 AM
The Capitol
Cabinet Meeting Room
400 South Monroe St
Tallahassee, FL 32399
November 21, 2019
2:00 PM
St. Leo University, Board Room
33701 State Rd. 52
St Leo, FL 33574
December 17, 2019
10:00 AM
Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus
Chapman Conference Center
Room 3210 – Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor
300 N.E. 2nd Avenue,
Miami, Florida 33132
January 10, 2020
1:00 PM
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
Professional Development Center
2772 Depot Ave.
Sanford, FL 32773
February 24, 2020
1:00 PM
Manatee Memorial Hospital
The Auditorium
206 Second Street East
206 Second Street East Bradenton, FL 34208
March 25, 2020
1:00 PM
The Capitol
Cabinet Meeting Room
400 South Monroe St
Tallahassee, FL 32399