Deerfield Beach

Deerfield Beach is a city in sunny South Florida. It is found in Broward County, just south of the Palm Beach County line.

South Florida is known for rich culture, thriving nightlife, and expansive beaches; it’s also known for its drug trafficking and abuse. Drug cartels move products up from countries south of the United States across the border, often through the waterways, and into Florida.

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Drug Abuse in South Florida

Drugs such as cocaine, use of which had seemed to drop off after overdose deaths peaked in 2007, are making a sweeping comeback, the Sun-Sentinel warns. Cocaine production is way up in Colombia in recent years, and about 90 percent of the white powder form of cocaine found in the United States can be traced back there. Overdose deaths involving cocaine spiked close to 30 percent between 2014 and 2015 in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties, as 614 people died from a cocaine-related overdose.

man on highway suffering from alcohol abuse

Opioid drugs are a major concern in Deerfield Beach and Broward County, as the illegal drug fentanyl is driving up overdose rates. Close to 200 people died in Broward County in 2016 from an overdose involving illicit fentanyl. This drug is a synthetic opioid that can be made illegally in a lab and then pressed into counterfeit prescription pills or used to cut heroin. Often, people are unaware of its presence in the drugs they are ingesting. Since fentanyl is extremely potent, much more so than most other prescription opioids or even heroin, overdose is common.

The United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse’s June 2016 report shows that alcohol, marijuana, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, and synthetic cathinones are all cause for concern in the local area.

Teen marijuana use is extremely high, as more than 90 percent of all addiction treatment admissions for those under age 18 in Broward County in 2016 reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse. Nearly a third of adult addiction treatment admissions cited alcohol as the No. 1 substance of abuse. The use of “drug cocktails,” which involves combining more than one drug like cocaine and benzodiazepines, is a problem in Broward County.

The illegal opiate heroin is also considered a local public health issue. Out of all the opioid overdoses treated at local Broward County emergency rooms in 2017, about 85 percent involved heroin.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) warns that opioid overdose rates in Florida are higher than national averages. In 2016, about 14.4 people per 100,000 residents in Florida died from an opioid overdose versus 13.3 people per 100,000 nationally.

In an attempt to address drug abuse, overdose, and addiction rates in Deerfield Beach, many preventative measures, treatment options, and recovery support services exist to help residents and their loved ones.



Aims to Reduce Drug Abuse in Deerfield Beach

Resources targeting drug abuse concerns in a local area typically aim to address the source and reduce misuse of substances in the first place. Educational campaigns, outreach programs, and preventative measures all focus on stopping students and community members from initially trying drugs, and they teach residents what to look for to spot potentially problematic drug misuse. These programs explain the potential dangers of illegal drug abuse and prescription drug misuse.

Educational campaigns, outreach programs, and preventative measures all focus on stopping students and community members from initially trying drugs, and they teach residents what to look for to spot potentially problematic drug misuse. These programs explain the potential dangers of illegal drug abuse and prescription drug misuse.

Federal and state grant funds are often specifically earmarked for prevention programs and measures. They are disseminated on a local level through community-based providers and agencies. Prevention measures are often countywide, meaning local programs service all of Broward County, which includes Deerfield Beach. There are many government and local community responses to drug abuse and overdose prevention in Deerfield Beach and Broward County residents.


Prevention Partnership Grant (PPG): This statewide grant funds a school-based prevention program that targets students in local schools to explain the hazards of drug abuse.


Florida Partnership for Success (PFS): This grant offers local communities funding for outreach and prevention programs to reduce drug misuse.


Opioid State Targeted Response Project: This project provides funding to increase the scope of prevention and crisis intervention services, and expand treatment services for all Florida residents.


Operation Medicine Cabinet: This is a local pill drop/medication disposal services provided by the Broward County Sheriff’s department as a service for residents. The goal is to reduce potential prescription drug diversion and abuse of unused medications.


Electronic-Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation Program (E-FORCSE): Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) requires prescribers to track the dispensing of controlled substances to keep a better eye on possible misuse and diversion of these drugs.


Controlled Substances Bill: This requires prescribers to go through continuing education on safe prescribing practices, limits the prescription of prescription opioids, and expands on E-FORCSE.


Good Samaritan law: This law protects individuals from drug-related charges when they report an overdose or try to save someone during an opioid overdose.


Standing order for naloxone distribution: This provides more access to the potentially lifesaving opioid antagonist drug by allowing any Florida resident who needs it the option of picking it up at a local pharmacy without a prescription.

South Florida has been recognized for emerging drug trends. In 2015, the synthetic cathinone and amphetamine-like flakka resulted in an epidemic of overdoses in Broward County. Local efforts to curb abuse through awareness campaigns, as well as help from the Chinese government (where the drug was largely coming from) on stamping out the manufacturing of this drug, helped to turn the tide on this dangerous drug trend. Broward County law enforcement and public education on the hazards of the drug helped to decrease abuse of this harmful substance. As of April, there had been no deaths involving flakka in Broward County in 2016.

Addiction Treatment Resources

To get immediate help for drug abuse and addiction in Deerfield Beach, residents can contact the crisis line for Broward County: 2-1-1 Broward. This service can offer local referrals and information on resources as well as provide real-time aid in times of crisis.

The Florida Department of Health in Broward County is an additional resource for healthcare information and local services open to residents. The Broward Connections Guidebook also offers a listing of local programs and providers.

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The Broward Behavioral Health Coalition (BBHC) is the managing entity (ME) for public substance abuse and behavioral health services for residents of Broward County. BBHC oversees a network of community-based providers that offer services to qualified residents either free of charge or on a sliding scale.

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) assigns local MEs, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program, the statewide authority, oversees them. To find a certified public or private provider based on location and services provided, Deerfield Beach residents can input a local zip code into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. Another local resource offering services and referral information for Deerfield Beach locals is the United Way of Broward County.

Within Broward County, residents can also enter into a public treatment program through one of the drug court programs. The Pretrial Intervention Program helps individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction, who have been arrested for a nonviolent and drug-related crime for the first time, get into a treatment program so they can get help instead of being sent to jail. The Diversionary Treatment Program (DTP) is a program that lasts at least one year and sends adjudicated felons into a treatment program instead of back to jail.

Loved ones can also have a person involuntarily committed to a treatment program through the Marchman Act in Florida. This law allows family members to seek help for a loved one battling drug abuse or addiction if the person is in imminent danger or may be a danger to others.

Recovery Support in Broward County

After completing a treatment program, it is essential to obtain support in recovery through transitional and aftercare services. The Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR) provides Florida residents with information on sober living environments and transitional services.

Recovery support is offered through 12-step and peer support programs that host local meetings in Deerfield Beach and the surrounding areas. The Broward County Intergroup Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the Gold Coast Area of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are local options. These recovery support organizations aid in minimizing relapse and offer lasting encouragement and mentorship in recovery.

Drug abuse and addiction are treated on a local level in Deerfield Beach. Services are provided on a full continuum of care, from prevention and crisis intervention resources to comprehensive treatment programs to transitional services and ongoing recovery support.