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Anesthesiologists praise Ron DeSantis’ actions on opioid epidemic

FSA said DeSantis was “leading the fight” against opioid abuse.

The Florida Society of Anesthesiologists (FSA) praised Gov. Ron DeSantis Wednesday for his recent executive order addressing the opioid crisis.

On Monday, DeSantis announced he was re-forming the Office of Drug Control via executive order. The office will be guided by a task force helmed by Attorney General Ashley Moody. DeSantis also announced he had secured another $26 million in federal funding to combat opioid abuse.

The new money is in addition to the $53 million lawmakers set aside last year.

FSA said the moves showed DeSantis was “leading the fight” against the opioid epidemic.

“The Florida Society of Anesthesiologists and our members make patient safety our top priority. Sadly, we also deal with the devastating effects of opioid use disorder/addiction on patients as they present to operating rooms across the state for a variety of operations that are a direct result of their addiction,” said Dr. Knox Kerr, FSA’s president.

“Therefore, we at the FSA consider it our duty and our responsibility to wholeheartedly endorse policy that addresses this existential crisis, which is exactly what Governor DeSantis is doing.”

Dr. John Lydon, an FSA board member, said “We applaud Governor DeSantis for his efforts to continue this fight for resources aimed at slowing the alarming rate of increase of addiction in our state. We are proud to unequivocally endorse the Governor’s executive order to address the opioid crisis.”

According to the most recent report from the Florida Medical Examiner’s Commission, there were 6,178 opioid-related deaths in Florida in 2017. That amounts to approximately 17 per day.

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