Okaloosa County Declares New Efforts To Combat The Opioid Epidemic

In Brief:

  • Okaloosa County and the Florida Department of Health will hold a press conference for Revive Awareness Day on June 6 to address the opioid crisis.
  • The event will announce the establishment of the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) Network and highlight various new addiction care programs.
  • Citizens are urged to recognize the signs of an overdose and call 911 in case of a suspected overdose.

To combat the ongoing opioid crisis, Okaloosa County, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health, will host a press conference for Revive Awareness Day on Thursday, June 6, at 9:30 a.m. The event will occur at the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County, 221 Hospital Drive, NE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.


The press conference will highlight the importance of Revive Awareness Day and disclose new strategies to tackle the opioid epidemic in Okaloosa County.


“The opioid epidemic continues to impact too many lives in Okaloosa County,” stated Okaloosa County Board Chairman Paul Mixon. “I am thankful we have come together across multiple agencies with community leaders in a focused partnership that will confront the disease of opioid addiction in our community.”


A significant highlight of the conference will be the announcement of the establishment of the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) Network in Okaloosa County. This initiative, funded by recent opioid settlements, is a comprehensive addiction care program designed to break the cycle of addiction and equip patients with the necessary tools for recovery.


“Drug overdose deaths due to opioids continue to rise each year in Okaloosa County,” noted Elizabeth Smith, Health Officer of the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County. “It is amazing to see so many of our community partners working together to develop new programs to create better outcomes and access to services for individuals affected by substance use.”

The allocated funds will support a variety of prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery programs, including Bridgeway Center, Inc.’s expansion of its outpatient detoxification services to 24/7 operation, the initiation of a community paramedicine program, and the establishment of a post-overdose response team.


Recognizing Overdose Signs

All citizens should be aware of the signs of an overdose, which include:

  • Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils”
  • Falling asleep or losing consciousness
  • Slow, weak, or absent breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Discolored skin, particularly around the lips and nails
  • Limp body


If you suspect someone is overdosing, call 911 immediately. Administer naloxone (Narcan) if available, lay the person on their side to prevent choking, and try to keep them awake and breathing until emergency assistance arrives.


For more information on the CORE Network and resources available, visit flcorenetwork.com.

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