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Governor and First Lady: “The Key to Protecting Our Children From Illicit Drugs is Prevention”

Florida will allocate $205.7 million in opioid settlements to programs that prevent and treat substance abuse, including the CORE Network, and establish the Office of Opioid Recovery.

DESTIN, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced plans for the $205.7 million from Florida’s opioid settlement agreement. Funds will be used to establish the Office of Opioid Recovery within the Department of Children and Families.


The new office, a cross-agency collaboration in partnership with community organizations, will focus on implementing strategies and expanding programs to serve local communities. Evidence-based practices under Florida’s Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) Network – the first of its kind in the U.S. – aim to eliminate the stigma of addiction and treat Substance Use Disorder as a disease, with a high level of continuous care.

“We want to stop illicit drugs from entering our state, hold dealers accountable, educate Floridians on the dangers and provide treatment that breaks the addiction cycle,” said Governor DeSantis. “Opioid addiction is plaguing our state and nation, and we are seeing more fatalities related to overdose than ever before with fentanyl being trafficked through the southern border. We will use funds from the opioid settlement in the most efficient and effective way possible to end addiction in Florida.”

Florida’s state agencies have implemented recovery and treatment programs that are the first of their kind in the nation, disrupting the traditional addiction cycle for many Floridians who seek to live sustainable, drug-free lives. Under the plan, individuals struggling with substance abuse will have access to continuous care. A new substance abuse curriculum will also be rolled out in public schools.


“The urgency to combat substance abuse is only escalating – we are no longer talking about the drugs from ten years ago, and the key to protecting our children is prevention,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “In Florida, we are equipping students with the tools they need to overcome challenges and withstand peer pressure to say no to drug use.”

At the event, First Lady DeSantis premiered a clip from videos that have been designed to be shown during high school The Facts. Your Future. school assemblies.

“We are fortunate to have Governor and First Lady DeSantis as relentless advocates for the people of Florida. They not only recognize the magnitude of the opioid epidemic, they have deployed an aggressive multi-prong approach to address it,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris.

Florida is also developing and implementing wrap-around services for those struggling with overdose. In addition, educational materials are being developed to prevent kids from encountering and interacting with illicit drugs, such as fentanyl, that can be fatal. If someone is having an overdose, the first step is to call or text 911. To seek treatment for yourself or someone currently struggling with addiction, visit Florida’s CORE Website.