Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Anti-Drug Plan Endorsed by Manatee County

May 30, 2018
Press Release

Commission Calls Buchanan a “Champion” Confronting Epidemic “Head On”

BRADENTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan announced today that the Manatee County Commission has endorsed his seven-point plan to combat the prescription drug epidemic. The Commission voted unanimously to adopt a resolution in support of the Opioid Emergency Response Act.  

Buchanan’s bill would create a new and innovative program to incentivize the use of alternatives to addictive prescription opioids.  The bill also incorporates ideas already-introduced in Congress, including increased research and prevention efforts, expanded access to treatment for those in recovery, and better screening to catch illegal drugs before they enter the country.  

“Manatee County wishes to support the continued efforts of Congressman Vern Buchanan who has been a champion of raising awareness to the opioid epidemic and has confronted it head on by sponsoring legislation that addressed child abuse and child neglect due to substance abuse and he also helped secure millions in federal dollars for anti-drug efforts in 2017.”

The resolution noted that more than 115 people in the United States die from opioid-related overdoses every day and that Manatee County has suffered the greatest impact in the region with a majority of deaths from overdoses, child removals and Narcan administrations.  

‘Drugs are destroying lives and families not only in our backyard here in Southwest Florida but everywhere throughout the country,” said Buchanan.  “We need to work together at the federal, state, and local level to address the epidemic.”

Buchanan’s bill has also been endorsed by Centerstone, Drug Free Manatee, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the National Board for Certified Counselors, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the Manatee, Sarasota and Hillsborough County Sheriffs, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. 

The 16th District Congressman has a long record of working to address the opioid crisis.
 
In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration adopted Buchanan’s proposal to make it more difficult for abusers to obtain certain highly addictive narcotics. The government’s action followed the introduction of Buchanan's Pill Mill Crackdown Act of 2011.
 
Buchanan also co-sponsored legislation signed into law to reduce the flow of fentanyl coming into the country. And last year, Buchanan was successful in securing millions of dollars from the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for Southwest Florida.  

Buchanan also chaired a congressional hearing examining the impact of addiction on families and children; hosted a roundtable in Bradenton with local police officers, medical professionals and stakeholders; and led a meeting of the bipartisan 29-member Florida congressional delegation in Washington, DC where members heard testimony from anti-drug experts. 

Recently, the House Ways and Means Committee passed Buchanan’s Centralized Opioid Guidance Act to create a centralized opioid database for patients searching for alternatives to addictive painkillers. The bill is expected to be voted on by the full House in June.