One week remains for vendors to bid on high-profile local opioid peer pilot program

  • Nov 7, 2017

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Nov. 7, 2017) – One week remains for vendors to submit bids for a high-profile local pilot project aimed at addressing the opioid epidemic in Manatee County. Manatee County Procurement Division will accept proposals for the Opioid-Focused Recovery Peer Coaching Services Pilot Program through Nov. 14.

Manatee County received funding from the State of Florida during the 2017 legislative session for a unique pilot program designed pair those struggling with opioid addiction with trained peer coaches who have overcome opioid dependency. Peer coaching is a common treatment method across the U.S., but Manatee County Healthcare Services Manager Joshua Barnett said the program will be the first of its kind in Florida for opioid-related dependency. 
"We want to create a program that engages patients early, in order to prevent many opioid-related overdoses and assist them in seeking treatment," Barnett said. "We're hoping to procure an agency that will hire adults with lived experience and past opiate or substance use who have found recovery and who have lived substance-free lifestyles to help people who are navigating that difficult time of opioid dependence to seek our recovery." 

Some of the general requirements for the peer pilot state that a vendor must provide a program that:
  • Is designed to establish a peer‐to‐peer relationship predicated on the mutual lived experience in having a substance use disorder; 
  • Provides peer coaches who are able to self‐identify and appropriately share their lived experience in how they navigated the non‐linear process of recovery from substance abuse; 
  • Provides a harm reduction approach that includes a progressive reduction in either the amount of drugs used, the frequency of drugs used, a less risky method of use,supports gradual reduction as behavioral momentum toward recovery, permitting open and honest sharing of use history to accurately track the reduction of use over time in a non‐punitive manner
Potential vendors cannot be contracted by Manatee County Government’s Neighborhood Services Department or Central Florida Behavioral Health Network to provide substance abuse treatment services within Manatee County during the term of the contract. 

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.