Substance abuse and drug addiction have far-reaching, destructive impacts on Florida and the nation. The use of opioids and stimulants have reached epidemic proportions. U.S. drug overdose deaths rose almost 30 percent in the pandemic year of 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention Control.

To raise awareness about opioid and stimulant use issues and disorders, and to highlight solutions involving the courts, Chief Justice Charles Canady issued a proclamation ​establishing September 2021 “as a month of awareness, training, and action regarding opioids, stimulants, and treatment for related substance use disorders.”

Opioid and stimulant use disorders exact a severe toll on the lives of millions in the United States. Impacts range from the suffering associated with addiction, impairment, overdoses, and death. Among further consequences are family disruption, job losses, increased crime, and taxpayer expense to address these and related problems in the justice, social services, and health care systems.