A bill passed by the Florida legislature would create a program for the state to help opioid addicts.
The bill, Senate Bill 3166, would provide a $3.5 million program that would fund drug testing for people who obtain prescriptions from a licensed physician and use the money to buy opioid medication for themselves or their family.
Florida has seen an increase in opioid overdoses over the past few years, and it is believed that many of those overdoses are tied to prescription painkillers like OxyContin.
In the U.S., there are more than 400,000 people addicted to prescription opioids, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids are the most commonly abused drug in the U and one of the most deadly.
More than 5 million Americans have died from overdoses related to opioids, including nearly 17,000 deaths in 2016, according the CDC.
But many people still find it difficult to access treatment for their addiction.
According to a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, many people are struggling with addiction for fear of losing access to services and help that they need.
“They’re scared they’re going to lose their jobs, they’re scared of losing their benefits,” said Jennifer Rafferty, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Drug Free America, which works to reduce the number of Americans who are addicted to opioids.
“So they’re using the drug for whatever they can, because they can’t access care.”
The opioid crisis is expected to cost Florida $30 billion by 2040, and the state is already spending about $25 billion to help its opioid users.
According the Associated Press, state lawmakers are working on a bill that would create incentives for counties to increase the number and type of overdose prevention programs.
Rafferty said the bill would also help address Florida’s heroin crisis, which has led to more than 20,000 overdoses in 2016.