Drug and Alcohol Recovery Grant

Steven Bell says he drank beer for 30 years but decided to quit cold turkey after doctors discovered he had a thyroid problem.

Steven says, "I drank because I wasn't happy because I was driving a taxi. I never drank at work. I didn't drink hard liquor, but I had to have a six pack every night. Now, I haven't had a drink for three months."

Thursday, the director from the Office of National Drug Police held a press conference to announce the state of Florida will receive a total of $20.4 million to help individuals seeking alcohol and drug treatment.

John Walters says, "What we're doing here is optimizing here and saying the dollar will follow the individual. If you get an access and you're in the criminal justice system or the child welfare system you can get vouchers to help you, need a certain kind of care."

Walters says people who are drug and alcohol dependent will receive vouchers that can be used at community and faith-based programs.

“The voucher allows you to go to a state approved selection of providers you choose. Consumers chose and we have state provided facilities that are effective. We are not going to raise hope and send them to low quality care."

Organizers say this funding will provide tremendous assistance toward achieving the goal of decreasing substance abuse in Florida by 50 percent.