Jacksonville's new special opioid committee meets for 1st time


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The new special committee on the opioid epidemic met for the first time Tuesday in Jacksonville.

The committee will focus on ways to reduce overdose rates, oversee the new pilot program and follow up on a possible lawsuit against opioid manufacturers. 

Committee members include first responders, city council members and educators.

The $1.4 million pilot program, which will attempt to help opioid users recover, was scheduled to begin in July, but has not yet started.

Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford told News4Jax it's being delayed by contracts. 

"We wanted to start long before now but, you heard it, there are contracts that they just got. So that's the problem," he said. "Fortunately, we will get past that and we will get started pretty soon."

Despite delays, Gulliford said, the program will begin in less than a month.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said it has seen a drop in overdose calls, however, it's too soon to determine whether this will be a long-term trend.

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