substance abuse

As opioid abuse rises across the state some lawmakers are pushing to clear the way for more needle exchange programs.  Many physicians whole-heartedly support the strategy as a way to reduce the harm of drug abuse.

Opioid Crisis Taking Its Toll On Florida Children

Nov 8, 2017

More than 4,000 babies were born addicted to opioids in Florida last year, an increase of over 1,000 percent from a decade ago.

The Lee County School District is starting a substance abuse intervention program just in time for the new school year, which began Thursday, Aug. 10. Instead of being suspended or sent to an alternative school, kids can go through this program for a first recorded incident with drugs or alcohol on school property. 

What’s At Risk In GOP’s Health Overhaul

Feb 21, 2017
WMFE

As Republicans look at ways to replace or repair the health law, many suggest shrinking the list of services insurers are required to offer in individual and small group plans would reduce costs and increase flexibility.

The newest chairman of the committee that looks at children and elder affair issues is outlining some of his top priorities for the 2017 legislative session.

Local officials are cracking down on corruption in Palm Beach County's sober-home industry.

The Duval County School District may soon open a school catering to teens who have problems with substance abuse.

The federal government says non-Medicaid expansion states could be doing more to help people with substance abuse and mental health disorders. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 300,000 uninsured Floridians with such disorders could be treated if Florida expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Mental Health, Substance Abuse Reforms Get Approval

Mar 14, 2016

In the waning hours of the 2016 legislative session, Florida lawmakers Friday approved wide-ranging reforms to the state's mental-health and substance-abuse treatment systems.

Helping young human trafficking victims and making sure juveniles get the help they need are among the legislative goals of two state agencies that deal with children.

WMFE

The Healthy Start Coalition of Volusia and Flagler Counties has gotten a $240,000 grant to help with addicted mothers.

While some are hailing the Governor’s recent pledge to put more money into Florida’s mental health and substance abuse programs, others are calling it “long overdue.”

'Huge' Revamp Of Mental-Health Services Scrapped

Apr 29, 2015
MyFloridaHouse.gov

  An ambitious proposal to revamp the state's system for delivering mental-health services became a casualty of the House's early exit from the Capitol, as the plan's Senate sponsor Wednesday refused to along with changes made by House members.

Lawmakers Look To Revamp Mental-Health Services

Apr 1, 2015

Legislation aimed at revamping Florida's system of delivering mental-health services is moving in the House and Senate and is gaining momentum.

The House version (HB 7119), which would hold providers to a new set of performance measures and open the bidding on state contracts to for-profit firms, was unanimously approved Tuesday by the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

In the Senate, a comparable measure (SB 7068) will get its second hearing Thursday in the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.

Palm Beach County lawmakers say tightening regulations on so-called "sober homes" will be one of their top priorities during this year's legislative session in Tallahassee. 

Sober houses are group homes for people recovering from drug or alcohol dependencies. In recent years, the facilities have become a booming business in parts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. But critics complain many of the facilities are bringing noise, traffic and even drug dealing to their single-family neighborhoods.

A Broward County judge with a history of alcohol problems is being recommended for removal from the bench. Judge Gisele Pollack has been a judge since 2004, overseeing low-level cases in the county's misdemeanor drug court.

Pollack admitted being drunk in the courtroom in December 2013. She agreed to stop drinking alcohol altogether, but the same thing happened a few months later.

Jail mugshot

Broward County Judge Gisele Pollack, accused of presiding in court twice while drunk and arrested on charges of driving under the influence, says she should be paid while she is suspended from office and getting treatment for alcoholism.

Two recent child deaths may be linked to mental illness and substance abuse that child protection agencies overlooked.

In one case, a 23-year-old South Florida woman has been sent for psychiatric evaluation after her arrest on suspicion of suffocating her young son. The woman had had contact with police in the past when she had episodes of what appeared to be a serious mental illness, the Miami Herald reports.

People who had ADHD in childhood are more likely to problems with substance abuse as adults.

But there's been disagreement about whether treatment of ADHD with stimulant medications like Ritalin reduces that risk or makes future problems with alcohol, nicotine and illegal drugs more likely.

The latest look finds that young adults who took stimulants as kids were no more likely to have substance abuse problems later than those who had ADHD but didn't take stimulant drugs. It's the broadest and deepest analysis yet, but it still leaves many questions unanswered.