Gov. Scott proposes legislation to fight opioid abuse crisis

BRADENTON, Fla. - Opioid addiction cost Jessica Zeilman her marriage and her daughter.

“I was on prescription drugs for 10 years because of a car accident," she said. "I kept going to doctors and kept going to doctors. There was anyone saying you should probably stop but instead we’ll give you more medications. At that point I was too far gone to know I had a problem.”

Zeilman, who is now clean and has her daughter back, praised proposed legislation by Gov. Rick Scott that includes $50 million to fight opioid abuse and a three-day limit on prescription opioids unless strict conditions are met for a seven-day supply.

“This critical step limits the chance of addiction and limits dangerous drugs from spilling into our community,” Scott said while at the Bradenton Police Department on Tuesday.

Doctors and nurses, under Scott's plan, would be required to use the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a statewide data base monitoring controlled substance prescriptions.

“When you go doctor shopping that’s your goal get more medications but when they see a data base statewide where people can look and see they are going to different doctors maybe people can help before it gets too far,” Zeilman said.

More reforms to help fight unlicensed pain clinics and increased education and federal grant funding are also proposed under Scott's plan.

The proposed legislation follows Scott's declaration earlier this year of a public health emergency for prescription and heroin use, which allowed the governor to secure $27 million in federal grant funding. 

“It’s not easy getting off the addiction the best thing is to prevent it in the first place,” Scott said.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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