Re the Jan. 16 article by Lawrence Mower, “State has a plan to fight opioid epidemic.
But have governor or legislators read it?”
We are in complete agreement that not having an office of drug control severely impairs Florida in its fight against the opioid crisis.
Some may argue that having an advisory council is sufficient for combating the crisis, but we submit that this view is short-sighted.
The structure of advisory councils make them inherently ill-equipped for dealing with crisis situations.
For example, they lack decision-making power, which is very much needed in combating an epidemic that changes by the week.
Additionally, the Advisory Council itself has admitted that its efforts are insufficient, and that a dedicated office for coordinating efforts to fight the epidemic is needed.
As alluded in the article, according to the Florida Health Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council 2017 Annual Report, “an Office of Drug Control or similar office is important for overseeing statewide efforts to effectively coordinate prevention, treatment, law enforcement, policy efforts, and to collect and analyze statewide data related to drug use.”
Lastly, numerous states have drug control offices to coordinate efforts, especially states like Kentucky that have been hit hardest by the epidemic.
We would hope that Governor Scott would examine data from these states to ascertain the effectiveness of dedicated offices in combating the crisis.
Upon viewing the supporting evidence, we are sure that Gov. Scott would realize that an office of drug control, dedicated solely toward fighting the ever-changing opioid crisis, is greatly needed, and that an advisory council is simply ill-suited for dealing with such a crisis.
Stevenson Paul and Daniel Cox,
social work students,