Florida will use a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund a pilot program designed to help people recovering from opioid addiction. The program hopes to help recovering addicts re-enter the workforce through training as well as continue to receive recovery and support services.
In May of 2017, then Florida Governor Rick Scott declared the opioid crisis in Florida to be a State of Emergency. This made the state eligible for federal grant funding to help mitigate the crisis. Florida’s State Opioid Response Project, administered through the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) in the Florida Department of Children and Families was created as a result.
According to the Florida Department of Health, in 2018, 68% of all overdose deaths were reported to be opioid-related. This accounts for 3727 deaths in total, with 11,820 non-fatal opioid-related overdoses. In 2019, numbers were climbing, with non-fatal opioid overdoses at 14,884, with 5,382 opioid-related deaths.
Here’s What You Need To Know About This Program:
The program which is called Support to Communities: Fostering Opioid Recovery through Workforce Development will serve a few purposes:
- Foster opioid recovery
- Invest in long-term skill training and employment opportunities for those suffering from addiction
- Help to create jobs that help people who may be struggling with addiction
The grant was awarded by the U.S Department of Labor, and the program will be administered through Florida’s Office of Economic Opportunity.
Governor DeSantis spoke recently regarding this program: Which will help Floridians, both of whom are recovering and need work.
“We are grateful to U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia for partnering with Florida to implement this pilot program which will help create a talent pipeline for unfilled positions, offer opportunities to prepare those working in these fields to better identify and respond to individuals with a substance misuse disorders and prepare individuals in recovery to become peer counselors
Of course, with programs like this, it’s always a collaborative effort. In order to ensure that participants get the best possible care, the government coordinates this effort with partners.
Partners for this program will include:
- Local Workforce Development Boards
- Medical/Treatment Facilities
- Local Governments
- Law Enforcement Entities
- Opioid Consortia
- Community-Based Organizations
- Educational Institutions
Beyond just fostering recovery, and training more addiction-related medical personnel, this program will also train those who have recovered to be able to become peer counselors to help others overcome similar situations.