State Sen. Jack Latvala (R-District 16), chairman of the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee, recently announced that he will hold a roundtable discussion on the opioid epidemic Tuesday, Aug. 8 in Palm Beach County.
Latvala was invited by State Sen. Kevin Rader (D-District 29) and Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay to visit Palm Beach County to learn first-hand about the issues surrounding the epidemic of opioid overdoses.
“Opioid abuse is a crisis facing our entire state. It’s costing lives and money. In fact, Florida hospital charges related to the heroin epidemic top $4 million a day,” Latvala said. “But the crisis seems to be affecting Palm Beach County more than many other parts of the state, with more than 300 opioid overdoses in Palm Beach County already this year. Sen. Rader and Commissioner McKinlay have worked particularly hard to bring attention to the issue. I want to visit and hear directly from the professionals and families involved with the issue.”
During the first five months of this year, there were 311 opioid overdoses in Palm Beach County compared to 258 over the same time period in 2016.
Latvala’s Aug. 8 roundtable will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Room PSD 108 at Palm Beach State College, located at 4200 Congress Ave. in Lake Worth.
Florida received a total of $54 million in federal grant money to address the opioid crisis. State spending of the grant money is managed through the budget, which is administered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.