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News Tuesday, Jan 16 2018

Rick Scott's Own Anti-Opioid Panel "Mystified" Why Scott Ignores Opioid Solutions

Jan 16, 2018

Rick Scott’s Drug Policy Advisory Council is “mystified” why Rick Scott isn’t paying closer attention to their report “outlining clear steps to fight the opioid crisis.”

The Council is almost entirely made of people elevated to high office in Florida by Rick Scott himself. People like Peggy Sapp, who asked: “My question would be to all of us, ‘Who is going to deliver that message to the governor?’”

Apparently, no one has. Rick Scott’s spokesperson has been refusing to answer whether Rick Scott even knows his own Council’s anti-opioid report exists.

Maybe it’s because Scott’s Council says the best step he can take is undoing his disastrous 2011 decision to eliminate the Office of Drug Control.

“Rick Scott’s inaction and carelessness when it comes to Florida’s opioid crisis have life and death consequences for Floridians. Now, his office refuses to even confirm he is interested in his own commission’s recommendations for resolving the opioid crisis,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp. “Scott might dismiss this as just another item on the list of things he’s “not an expert” on, but his incompetence and indifference are costing lives.”

In 2017, American Bridge released a 5-minute documentary about Rick Scott’s inaction and inattention to Florida’s opioid crisis, which has risen dramatically under Gov. Scott.

Tampa Bay Times: Drug report critical in fighting opioid epidemic. But has Rick Scott read it?

By Lawrence Mower | January 16, 2018

  • “Florida’s Drug Policy Advisory Council is … the closest Florida has to a coordinated response to the growing opioid epidemic.”
  • “So the panel was mystified Thursday why their annual report outlining clear steps to fight the opioid crisis – including reviving the Office of Drug Control – hasn’t received more attention from Gov. Rick Scott and legislators.”
  • “‘My question would be to all of us, “Who is going to deliver that message to the governor?”‘ said Peggy Sapp, the president and CEO of the nonprofit Informed Families and a Scott appointee.”
  • “But who – if anyone – briefed the governor about the report has been a question without an answer.”
  • “Nobody at Thursday’s meeting could answer the question. And representatives of the Department of Health and the governor’s office either could not, or would not, answer it, either.”
  • “But it was the council’s first recommendation – to bring back the Office of Drug Control – that Sapp and others feel is the most important.”
  • “Scott eliminated it in 2011, at the height of the pill mill crisis and at the beginning of the heroin epidemic. The $500,000 four-person team was just 0.0007 percent of the state’s $69 billion budget.”
  • “Sapp feels that having a unit in the governor’s office dedicated solely to the crisis is crucial.”

Published: Jan 16, 2018

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