Ashley Moody: Florida Making Progress in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse

This week, state Attorney General Ashley Moody highlighted recent victories in the fight to combat opioid abuse ahead of the second anniversary of the Dose of Reality Florida website launch.

The online resource is a one-stop shop for Floridians to find information and resources about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers and other opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl.

“I recently announced historic settlement agreements to bring nearly $2 billion to Florida to help abate the opioid crisis. These funds can’t get here soon enough as the crisis is now claiming 21 lives a day in Florida. But people struggling with opioid abuse should not wait to seek treatment; help is available now. To find programs and resources near you, visit DoseofRealityFL.com—a comprehensive website highlighting local and state treatment programs and services throughout Florida,” Moody said.

The goal of the online tool is to expand public awareness, education and prevention efforts to stop the misuse of prescription painkillers, warn about the dangers of opioid abuse and increase knowledge about drug addiction. The website provides Floridians with opioid-related information and resources to serve as a one-stop shop for anyone seeking help—including details on prevention methods, safe pain management, proper storage of prescription drugs and guidelines on responding to an overdose.

Outside of launching Dose of Reality Florida,  Moody is taking extra steps to combat the opioid epidemic in our state that is claiming 21 lives a day. Recently, Moody led the fight in the courtroom by securing historic settlements with major opioid manufacturers. The Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution continues to secure lengthy prison sentences for opioid traffickers selling dangerous drugs throughout Florida.

In addition to fighting the opioid crisis through legal action, Moody recognized provisional data suggesting the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening opioid abuse and immediately set out to mitigate the emerging problem. In April 2020, as many sheltered in place, Moody urged Floridians struggling with isolation to seek counseling, not drugs. In September 2020, the Attorney General’s office teamed with 211 to help Floridians struggling with opioid abuse. In May, Moody urged lawmakers to pass the FIGHT Fentanyl Act as new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred from May 2019 to May 2020—the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Moody’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis included:

Assembling a statewide working group of experts to identify strategies and best practices for addressing the opioid crisis;

Personally appearing in court and advocating for expediency in the state’s opioid litigation to hold responsible the nation’s largest opioid distributors, manufacturers and pharmacies;

Securing a successful ruling denying the defendants’ motions to dismiss the state’s opioid litigation; and

Pushing back against the loosening of opioid prescribing guidelines by requesting that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reverse a recommendation that medical providers rely on personal judgment instead of consulting evidence-based recommendations, including opioid prescription duration and dosage.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I do not see one word or any solution for those of us that suffer from chronic pain. The disabled patients that rely on their pain medication and are not addicts or abusers. The ones that have done nothing wrong yet are suffering and dying because they are denied legal and safe pain control.Also Fentanyl that’s killing people with drug problems is coming into our country illegally and is hidden in other illegal street drugs. That is not a prescription problem. That is still the illegal drug smuggling problem and is more dangerous than ever. Yet good doctors are still being persecuted! The disabled and sick are being abandoned and unjustly labeled and treated with prejudice and it’s wrong. Protections need to be put in place for those of us that have documented need for pain medications. If you could only walk a mile in our shoes. DONT PUNISH PAIN. TY

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