Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council (DPAC)
In 1999, the Legislature created the Office of Drug Control and the Drug Policy Advisory Council in the Executive Office of the Governor. The primary purposes of the office was to coordinate drug control efforts; provide information to the public about the problem of substance abuse and services available; and develop a strategic program and funding to coordinate state agency activities relating to drug control. In the Office of Drug Control there were three councils and one task force established: Drug Policy Advisory Council, Seaport Standards Advisory Council, the Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council, and the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Oversight and Implementation Task Force.
Two actions effective on July 1, 2011, changed the council. 1) Section 397.332, F.S. repealed the Office of Drug Control within the Executive Office of the Governor. 2) Section 397.333 F.S. became law which established the Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council under the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and states: “The Surgeon General or his or her designee shall be a nonvoting, ex officio member of the advisory council and shall act as chairperson. The director of the Office of Planning and Budgeting or his or her designee shall be a nonvoting, ex officio member of the advisory council.”
The membership of the DPAC is nine high level state officials and seven members of the public appointed by the Governor. The Drug Policy Advisory Council (DPAC) has historically been an active advisory group to the Governor. In 2010 Legislative Session, the following bills, recommended by DPAC, were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor.
SB 1050: Meth Block Bill requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to establish a real time, electronic recordkeeping system to block or prevent the sales of excess amount of the precursors (ephedrine and pseudoephedrine) required to manufacture methamphetamine.
SB 2272: Anti Pill Mill Bill provides legal authority for the Department of Health to shut down pain clinics in violation of the law. Prohibits dispensing of more than 72 hours of controlled substances to cash paying customers, restricts disciplined physicians and felons from owning pain clinics, and strengthens the PDMP by providing information to law enforcement regarding potential “doctor shoppers” and those medical professionals possibly colluding with patients to violate prescription drug laws.
SB 1068: Enhance Penalties for Serving Alcohol to Underage increases the penalty
imposed for a second or subsequent offense of selling, giving, or serving alcoholic beverages to a person less than 21 years of age.
SB 434: Suicide Prevention Education Bill provides access to suicide prevention educational resources for school personnel as part of their in-service training requirements.
SB 366: Drug Paraphernalia Bill makes it a first degree misdemeanor for any person to sell smoking devices unless they have a retail tobacco products dealer permit, they derive at least 75 percent of their annual gross revenues from the retail sale of cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products or they derive no more than 25 percent of their annual gross revenues from the retail sale of items listed as “smoking pipes and smoking devices.”
The chairperson of the advisory council shall appoint workgroups that include members of state agencies that are not represented on the advisory council and shall solicit input and recommendations from those state agencies.
The Department of Health shall provide staff support for the advisory council.
The Advisory Council shall:
- Meet at least quarterly or upon the call of the chairperson;
- Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the problem of substance abuse in this state and make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature for developing and implementing a state drug control strategy;
- Review and make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on funding substance abuse programs and services;
- Review various substance abuse programs and recommend, where needed, measures that are sufficient to determine program outcomes;
- Review the drug control strategies and programs of other states and the Federal Government;
- Recommend to the Governor and Legislature applied research projects that would use research capabilities within the state;
- Recommend to the Governor and Legislature changes in law which would remove barriers to or enhance the implementation of the state drug control strategy;
- Make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on the need for public information campaigns.
- Ensure that there is a coordinated, integrated, and multidisciplinary response to the substance abuse problem in this state;
- Assist communities and families in pooling their knowledge and experiences with respect to the problem of substance abuse;
- Examine the extent to which all state programs that involve substance abuse treatment can include a meaningful work component;
- Recommend to the Governor and the Legislature ways to expand and fund drug courts; and
- Submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 1 of each year.