By Jeff Foley
Polk County Media Relations 

Polk County Seeks Stakeholders for Opioid Abatement Effort

Pharmaceutical Settlement Funds Will Be Applied to Local Effort


Last updated 8/18/2023 at 3:25pm


The opioid epidemic has resulted in thousands of deaths from overdose nationally, but a huge lawsuit settlement with manufacturers who profited from the abuse has funded abatement efforts.

Polk County's Health and Human Services Division is hosting "Shaping the Future of Opioid Abatement in Polk County" in collaboration with Polk Vision and the Crescendo Consulting Group.

An abatement plan was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is now the intent of the division to revisit the work previously advised through a community prioritization event. While the event is open to the public, it is intended to bring community stakeholders together to discuss the county's needs and to build consensus for possible uses of opioid abatement funds.

Polk County is expecting to receive about $30 million in opioid abatement funds over the next 18 years. These funds are coming from a settlement with pharmaceutical organizations that helped in the distribution of opioids. The money will be spent on prevention efforts, treatment and recovery services.

The September 26 planning event will help the Health and Human Services Division develop a targeted strategic plan that prioritizes categories of spending for the opioid abatement funds. The plan, which will ultimately be presented to the Board, will benefit Polk County residents who have suffered from the opioid epidemic. The event will take place from 8:30 to 11 am on Tuesday, September 26, at Polk State College's Center for Public Safety, 1251 Jim Keene Blvd., Winter Haven, 33880. Polk Vision will facilitate the meeting.

To register for Shaping the Future of Opioid Abatement in Polk County, visit this link..


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