Pompano Beach is a small but populous city in Broward County that sits in the middle of a major metropolitan area that spans from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade County.
Pompano Beach is a coastal city in the middle of an expansive metropolis with a significant problem with drugs and alcohol. In the midst of the opioid epidemic, most of the country has been forced to deal with public health problems related to addiction, but other substances besides opioids continue to be a problem.
Among them is alcohol, one of the most common substances of abuse.
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Alcoholism is a problem that affects a wide variety of people. Because alcohol is so pervasive in American society and culture, most people have had some experience with this psychoactive substance. In fact, the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 86.3 percent of adults in the U.S. have reported drinking alcohol at some point in their lives. In the survey, more than 26 percent reported binge drinking at some point in the past month.
In Florida, alcohol was present in almost half of all drug-related deaths. In many cases, alcohol is mixed with other drugs like benzodiazepines or opioids, which can easily lead to an overdose. Alcohol can also lead to severe consequences indirectly. In Broward County, there were 1,720 arrests for driving under the influence in 2016. Many fatal auto accidents are related to alcohol impairment each year.
In 2018, more than 14 million adults met the qualifications for an alcohol use disorder. Only about 7.9 percent of those people received treatment.
Alcohol is a common substance of abuse, and it is often used alongside other legal and illicit substances. Alcohol is also a mainstay in party settings where other drugs might be used. However, mixing alcohol with certain substances can be deadly. Stimulants like cocaine and meth can be mixed with alcohol in an attempt to counteract some of the negative effects of both substances.
However, it can also make you feel like you can take higher doses, which leads to an overdose. Mixing alcohol with opioids, benzodiazepines, or other depressants can lead to potentiation, which is when the drugs work together to cause more intense effects. This can also lead to an overdose with relatively low doses of each individual drug.
In Florida, the common prescription depressant alprazolam was involved in 1,654 deaths in 2018, but only a fraction involved alprazolam with no other substances.
In Pompano Beach’s neighboring Fort Lauderdale, alprazolam was found in 116 deaths, but 110 of those also included other substances like alcohol.
Alcoholism can grow into a severe substance use disorder, which usually requires treatment to effectively address. Addiction is a chronic disease that’s likely to get worse over time if it’s ignored. Severe substance use disorders can start to take over different parts of your life, including your health, relationships, and finances.
Addiction treatment involves a complex, personalized process that addresses substance abuse and underlying factors like mental and physical health. There’s no one ultimate treatment plan that works for everyone. Instead, treatment responds to your individual needs. When you enter a treatment program, medical and clinical professionals will help to formulate a treatment plan.
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 Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2020, February 18). Alcohol Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
RxList. (2018, February 6). Benzodiazepines Drug Class: Side Effects, Types & Uses. Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/benzodiazepines/drug-class.htm