Gov. DeSantis, first lady announce $5M toward campaign educating Florida students on substance abuse

The Facts, Your Future campaign launched in 2019

Ron DeSantis, center, thanks supporters with his wife Casey, left, at an election party Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (Associated Press)

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced Friday that $5 million will go toward a Florida campaign educating middle and high school students on substance abuse.

The Facts, Your Future campaign was launched in 2019 to educate children across the state about the dangers of vaping, alcohol and drugs in an effort to help them make informed decisions. As part of the campaign, school districts across Florida receive informational tool kits packed with statistics and other scientific research that illustrates the negative consequences of using drugs.

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“We’re taking another step toward protecting and educating our children. Peers, parents, teachers, health care providers, and other authority figures in our kids lives all have a role to play in fostering productive, impactful conversations about avoiding substance abuse,” the governor said.

The $5 million is part of a combined effort from the Department of Health and the Florida Department of Education.

The first lady said the funding would go toward the curriculum the program brings to schools and the public messaging campaign. She reiterated the importance of knowing the reason behind “the why” in regard to substance abuse prevention, adding that students need the information in order to make decisions.

The news conference comes a day after DeSantis formally announced that Florida will present a legal challenge to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s order mandating companies with more than 100 employees require COVID-19 vaccinations for their workers.

“The state of Florida will be joining with Georgia and Alabama as well as private plaintiffs to file suit,” DeSantis said. “This is a rule that is not consistent with the Constitution and is not legally authorized through congressional statutes. The federal government can’t just unilaterally impose medical policy under the guise of workplace regulation.”

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.