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Okaloosa County to host Revive Awareness Day event, announce new opioid epidemic efforts

Okaloosa County, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County, will host a press conference for Revive Awareness Day on Thursday, June 6, at 9:30 a.m. During the […]

Okaloosa Public Information Office

Okaloosa County, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County, will host a press conference for Revive Awareness Day on Thursday, June 6, at 9:30 a.m.

  • The event will take place in the Board Chambers at the Okaloosa County Administration Building in Shalimar, Florida.

During the press conference, the County, Department of Health, and several community partners will recognize the importance of Revive Awareness Day and announce plans to take additional action in the opioid epidemic in Okaloosa County.

“The opioid epidemic continues to impact too many lives in Okaloosa County,” said 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.”

Okaloosa County recently executed plans to use Opioid Settlement funding to establish the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) Network in the County. CORE is a comprehensive addiction care initiative in Florida that disrupts the cycle of addiction and provides patients with tools for recovery.

  • “Drug overdose deaths due to opioids continue to rise each year in Okaloosa County,” said 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.”

Funds have been allocated in Okaloosa County to support various prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery programs.

  • Bridgeway Center, Inc. will provide critical, life-saving services by expanding the current 12-hour availability of outpatient detoxification to 24/7.
  • Okaloosa County will establish a Community Paramedicine program, in which specially trained Community Paramedics will visit at-risk patients to treat and screen for the effects of opioid use disorder and associated comorbidities.
  • The Okaloosa County Health Improvement Partnership (OCHIP) has developed a post-overdose response team initiative, which will pilot with the Fort Walton Beach Police Department in mid-June before expanding county-wide.

All Floridians are encouraged to learn the signs of an overdose, which include pinpoint pupils, loss of consciousness, slow or no breathing, gurgling sounds, cold or clammy skin, discolored skin, and a limp body.

If an overdose is suspected, call 911 immediately, administer naloxone (Narcan) if available, and keep the person awake and breathing until emergency assistance arrives.

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