Manatee County to host May 2 state workshop on opioid use

  • Apr 20, 2017

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (April 20, 2017) – Manatee County will host a May 2 workshop on opioid abuse as part of a series of four workshops being held with several state agencies around Florida next month.

 Gov. Rick Scott on April 11 directed the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Health (DOH) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to meet with communities to identify additional strategies to fight the rising opioid usage cases in Florida. 

The Manatee County opioid workshop will be held from 9-10:30 a.m., May 2 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, One Haben Boulevard in Palmetto. Other workshops are scheduled for May 1 in Palm Beach County, May 2 in Orange County and May 3 in Duval County. 

Recognizing the local opioid overdose epidemic, Manatee County Commissioners over the past year have taken steps to confront the problem on multiple fronts. The County has asked state legislators for funding to create a unique opioid peer pilot project to pair those struggling with opioid addiction with trained peer coaches who have overcome opioid dependency. 

"We're pleased Manatee County is able to host one of these workshops," said Manatee Healthcare Services Manager Joshua Barnett. "During that conversation we hope to further demonstrate our mutual collaboration between Manatee County and DCF and the Department of Health in Manatee County. This conversation further supports our strategic efforts to combat the opioid overdose epidemic in our community and state."

At the Governor’s direction, DCF Secretary Mike Carroll, Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip and FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen are traveling to four counties facing an increase in opioid-related deaths for workshops with local leaders, law enforcement, health directors, treatment providers and community members.

“Growing up, substance abuse was something that impacted my own family and I know firsthand what a heartbreaking burden this can be on families who have to deal with this," Gov. Scott said in an April 11 press release. Behind every case of drug use is a family hoping and praying for a solution. One death caused by substance abuse is one too many, and today I have directed the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to travel the state and hear directly from communities on what resources they need to help with this growing problem. Opioid abuse is happening across our nation and it is crucial that we hear what our local communities are doing to fight the rising use of opioids and how we as the state can continue to help.

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.