Florida's high heroin-related deaths have continued to skyrocket out of control, prompting the Governor to declare a public-health emergency. However, while the governor considers a bill to fight the epidemic, advocates from the public health department said it will only worsen the situation. The governor's bill will mandate the minimum amount of drugs dispensed to each individual rather than increasing prevention awareness and treatments.

State overburdened with burial assistance requests

According to a new report by the Medical Examiner's Office, Fentanyl deaths jumped to 135 percent.

This is 410 more than the same period of 2016. Additionally, when compared to the first half of last year, the report indicated that heroin deaths had also risen by 25 percent. Last Wednesday, Florida's Governor Rick Scott declared that the state has been struggling with a Drug overdose problem. Florida's opioid epidemic is now a Public Health Emergency.

The governor had allowed state officials to tap into grant money of more than $54 million to help curtail the problem. The US Department of Health and Human Services reported that more families are asking for burial assistance due to the increase in drug overdose deaths. The announcement was made after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report that shows the national average of each state's drug-related deaths.

Reportedly, Florida's Surgeon General Celeste Philip had approved the distribution of Naloxone. The anti-overdose drug, when administered by first responders, would effectively reverse the effects of a lethal drug overdose. The governor's spokeswoman Kerry Wyland said the opioid problem has been on the radar as the state's death toll continues to rise at an alarming rate.

Florida's Governor slowly responds to drug epidemic

Florida received federal funding to help fight its drug epidemic on April 21. However, this was done after state officials traveled throughout the region and collected input from several communities. Executive Director Mark Fontaine of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, said the heightened drug epidemic started about four years ago.

The non-profit organization spokesperson added that the Governor had finally responded to the cries of numerous parents, who have witnessed many friends and family succumb to drug overdose.

Reportedly, the Governor came under immense pressure from lawmakers and other state officials admonishing him to take a more serious approach towards dealing with the deadly epidemic. Republican Senator Jack Latvala said Governor Scott should be commended for finally making this important decision, although it took a while for him to implement the effective protocols necessary to eliminate the problem.