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Florida governor re-forms task force on opioid crisis

Gov. DeSantis: 'Substance abuse is a serious public safety concern'

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(Florida Governor's Office photo)

SANFORD, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is re-establishing the office of drug control and creating a drug task force on drug abuse to combat the opioid epidemic.

"Substance abuse is a serious public health concern and although great progress has been made, the opioid epidemic continues to devastate families and communities throughout our state,” DeSantis said. "These issues require effective and immediate action and my administration is committed to taking the necessary steps to combat this crisis."

The governor appointed Attorney General Ashley Moody to chair the statewide task force, which will develop a strategy and make recommendations for attacking the opioid crisis.

Moody said that Florida loses 17 people a day to the drug crisis, including one on Monday in Seminole County where the announcement took place.

"As a former federal prosecutor and circuit judge who saw firsthand how this crisis ravaged our communities, I am honored to help lead this mission," Moody said. "I look forward to bolstering our ongoing efforts against this deadly crisis claiming 17 lives a day in Florida."

The drug control office will coordinate with state and federal officials with a goal of reducing opioid abuse.

DeSantis also said Florida has secured an additional $26 million in federal funding for the state's opioid response project.