Broward County is a large county in South Florida that’s sandwiched between Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County to form a sprawling, tri-county metropolitan area. Coastal urban areas like Broward have struggled to combat addiction in recent years, largely due to the opioid epidemic. However, alcohol continues to pose a threat to public health. In the United States, alcohol causes an estimated 88,000 deaths per year. These cases may be caused by alcohol poisoning, long-term health issues, and automobile accidents. Learn more about the need for access to alcohol rehab in Broward County.
In Florida, medical examiners found that alcohol was involved in 5,140 deaths in 2018. It was the primary cause of death in 866 of those cases. Compared to the year before, there was a two percent decrease in alcohol-related deaths, though the numbers are still relatively high. Among other illicit and prescription drugs, medical examiners found that alcohol was involved in the most deaths of any substance in Florida.
In Broward County, a fourth of patients that were admitted to addiction treatment programs cited alcohol as their primary drug of choice in 2016. That same year, more than 19 percent of Florida high school students reported drinking alcohol before the age of 13. In 2016, there were 1,720 arrests for driving under the influence in Broward County, and most are due to alcohol intoxication.
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Alcohol can be dangerous on its own, especially if you frequently engage in binge drinking. However, it’s even more dangerous when it’s combined with other drugs like stimulants, opioids, and other depressants. As a depressant, alcohol can counteract some of the effects of a stimulant, causing some users to take heavier doses than normal, which can lead to an overdose. It does the opposite when combined with opioids and other depressants like benzodiazepines.
Mixing these substances can cause them to potentiate, which means they work together to create more intense effects.
This can cause an overdose with relatively low doses of each individual drug. For instance, the benzodiazepine drug alprazolam was involved in 116 deaths in Fort Lauderdale in 2018, but all but six of those cases also involved other substances.
Florida is a hub for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Its comfortable climate makes it a popular place to go through the challenge of rehab and recovery. Since there have been many treatment programs that have opened in Florida for decades, the state has also been a place that pioneered treatment models and innovation. However, it’s also a place with significant need when it comes to treatment.
Treatment for alcohol use disorders is a complex process that’s designed to address substance abuse and any medical, psychological, or social problems that may contribute to a disorder. Because addiction is so complicated, treatment should be personalized to individual needs.
When you first enter a treatment program, you’ll meet with treatment professionals that may include both doctors and clinicians. These professionals will help you formulate a treatment plan that addresses your needs.
American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
Medical examiners Commission. (2019, November). Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Medical Examiners. Retrieved from https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MEC/Publications-and-Forms/Documents/Drugs-in-Deceased-Persons/2018-Interim-Drug-Report-FINAL.aspx
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Opioids. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids