Bay County will use a $50,000 state grant to develop a way to handle the problem of opioid addiction.

The Bay County Health Department will administer the program collecting information from law enforcement, the court system, social service agencies and first responders to compile information about the extent of the problem and develop an action plan.

County Executive Jim Barcia says the drug problem crosses all social and economic lines. He said addicts will resort to anything, including robbery, to get their drug fix.

Free doses of the drug, Narcan, are available to the public from the health department to administer to people suffering from a drug overdose, before emergency personnel arrive on scene.

Barcia will travel to Washington, D. C. to participate in a national forum discussing the problem. Bay County is one of 10 counties from across the U. S. trying to find solutions to the epidemic. The county is a plaintiff in a law suit against major drug companies, claiming the industry was aware of the potential problem of opioid abuse.