Florence Snyder: Florida’s opioid crisis, Part 6; Opioid Kabuki Theater opens today in West Palm Beach

opioid crisis

This afternoon, The Rick Scott and Pam Bondi Opioid Listening Tour opens in West Palm Beach. Scott and Bondi won’t be there, but People with Big Titles and No Power will.

Scott, who used to run hospitals for a living, thinks that mosquitoes carrying Zika are a public health emergency, even as Floridians and medical tourists who VISIT Florida’s criminal enterprises masquerading as “sober homes” are dropping like flies.

When Scott and Bondi’s designated listeners roll into town, they’ll be greeted by citizens and taxpayers bearing photographs of loved ones lost to heroin and its kindred killer drugs. Grieving parents, grandparents and siblings take this epidemic very personally, and they are very sick of public officials who don’t.

“We need urgency. We are tired of talking. We need action…particularly from the Department of Health and the surgeon general,” protest organizer Maureen Mulroy Kielian told The Palm Beach Post.

That’s not happening. As Surgeon General Celeste Philip said last week in her Senate confirmations hearings, it is the Department of Children & Families that will be “taking the lead” in handling this steaming souffle of hot potatoes.

Opioid overdoses claimed 600 lives in Palm Beach County last year. The statewide death toll in 2015 was 2500. If that isn’t a surgeon general issue, what is?


Florence Snyder

Florence Beth Snyder is a Tallahassee-based lawyer and consultant.


  • Peter Dimaira

    May 1, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    It’s about time they do something. It took way too much time and too many lives to get something like this even remotely established.

    • Victor DeFrisco

      May 1, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      In Canada the use of Oxys has to be approved by the minister of health. We need something similar. Or only use them what they were designed for. Terminally I’ll cancer patients.

  • Maureen

    May 2, 2017 at 8:28 am

    This is a very unfortunate circumstance at the expense of human injury an lives. I guarantee you that if Dr. Philip had a child, parent or loved on suffering from opioid addiction, or any addiction for that matter, she would absolutely want them treated by a licensed profession within a health care system and with medical standards of care. It is very obvious that our “appointed” surgeon general is clearly unqualified for the job at hand. Not recognizing this public HEALTH emergency for what it is allows the epidemic of massive morbidity and mortality, to rage on unabated. Would Dr. Philip allow her loved one to be processed like an animal thru a broken system of unlicensed and uncertified “providers”? And, would Dr. Philip be ok with $30,000-1$00,000 of invasive/noninvasive diagnostic testing and/or supposedly therapeutic testing to be done on her loved one? All of the tests ordered by a “peer” FL licensed provider. Would she wait for her non-licensed, non-certified peer agency(DCF), who has no power or authority to regulate “medical practices”, for them to review the system and talk for months and years about how we could fix this system of injury and death?
    Folks, this travesty, the opioid epidemic started in physician/surgeons/dentist offices. It must end with the physician community doing what’s right and treating the disease starting TODAY. Continuing to ignore this public health emergency further solidifies the grossly negligent practice of medicine that occurs in the state of Florida. Dr. Philip’s departments mission and vision:
    MISSION : 
    To protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.
    VISION :
    To be the Healthiest State in the Nation
    She, her team, and the entire department are in epic failure. Public health safety of the people of Florida, and those seeking addiction “medical” care from outside our state is at elevated risk and we the people of Florida will not accept this. It is the FL Surgeon General’s role and within the power ad authority of that position to act urgently and swiftly when “lives are in imminent danger”. For every day that she chooses not to act, at least 15 more people will die and the human suffering and injustices continue in a state that is promoting itself as a “healthy” state. Medical prejudice at its finest.

  • Maureen

    May 2, 2017 at 9:43 am

    This is “medical” care in Florida. Orchestrated and controlled by FL licensed physicians.
    Apparently the “Governor appointed” FL Surgeon General, the “Governor appointed” medical regulatory boards, and the FL Department of Health are all ok with this practice of medicine?
    The human injustices and medical prejudices are harming and literally killing the people of Florida and those seeking “medical care” from out of state.
    Horrific that this is tolerated by the medical professionals. Horrific that our Governor’s appointed professionals obviously endorse this practice of medicine proven by their silence on the proliferation of human injury at the hands of their peers.
    Once again, the FL medical boards remain in a “reactive” stance rather than a “proactive” stance. Now, fully responsible for the epic failure of self-regulation causing massive morbidity and mortality.

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Comments are closed.


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