America’s drug problem has affected communities across the nation, including those in South Florida. Access to quality drug rehab programs is a must as substance abuse, and addiction continue to affect the area’s native residents, tourists, and immigrants.
With an ongoing opioid epidemic and a rise in alcohol use amid workers during the coronavirus pandemic, it is no surprise that the region is home to some of the estimated 21.2 million Americans who use addictive substances. Accredited facilities in the area help many people find their way back to sobriety. If you or someone you know needs drug rehab services, you have come to the right place.
South Florida’s tri-county area of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach have all seen how present-day drug use has affected their populations. One pressing issue throughout Florida is opioid drug use that has left thousands either dead or addicted.
“Nearly 68% of the 4,698 reported drug overdose deaths in Florida involved opioids in 2018—a total of 3,189 fatalities (and a rate of 15.8),” reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Broward County officials have seen an explosion in opioid overdose cases, especially when fentanyl started turning up regularly in heroin and cocaine. In many cases, people who took these drugs likely did not know the potent opioid was part of the mix. Fentanyl is reportedly 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Dealers have been known to cut their heroin with the potent drug to make their supply last longer, a move that comes at a grave cost to those who buy from them.
In 2018, 110 people in Fort Lauderdale died of heroin-related overdoses, and fentanyl was tied to 287 deaths in that city, which is Broward County’s largest. The year 2017 also brought in a record of heroin overdose deaths for the county. Of the 1,642 overdoses that hospitals in the county treated, 85 percent involved heroin. A 2017 drug trends report also showed there was an increase in overdoses involving cocaine and benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Klonopin.
Cocaine use has increased in South Florida more than any place in the state, according to data highlighted in a 2018 Florida Department of Children and Families report. Data in that report also said that the law enforcement departments of Broward and Palm Beach counties reported that they mostly seized cocaine, heroin, and cannabis (marijuana) from individuals in those areas in 2017.
South Florida’s tri-county area also led the state’s counties for cocaine as well as the causal occurrence of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, heroin, oxycodone, and morphine.
Floridians’ substance abuse battles also involve the legal substance alcohol. Problematic drinking has sent many people to rehab in recent years. In 2016, alcohol was the top reason people started a rehab program, according to the United Way’s drug trends report.
Recreational users also gravitate toward heroin and marijuana, as both are easy to get. Prescription opioids, synthetic marijuana (fake weed), and synthetic cathinones such as the inexpensive street drug flakka, have also been part of the drug scene. In the case of flakka, the once-emerging street drug has unpredictable psychological side-effects, making people who use it a danger to themselves and others.
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Florida has long welcomed people who want to start a new life for whatever reason. Many people who seek to live substance-free will find accredited facilities in South Florida that can help them put their lives back together.
Rehab centers help clients address substance use disorders involving alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, and stimulants for anywhere from 30 days to 90 days and longer.
No one has to do it alone. Many substance abuse treatment providers in the region help people find the strategies and skills they need to put their substance abuse behind them.
Florida has worked to implement reforms after shutting down clinics that were set up in the state during a “pill mill” scheme in the early 2000s.
To address the national opioid crisis, that state in recent years passed legislation that limits the number of opioid prescriptions a doctor can issue for pain.
The law aims to reduce the number of people who become dependent on or addicted to opioids.
Addiction extends far beyond a refusal to stop drinking or doing drugs. The chronic brain disease is relentless and usually worsens unless it is treated with evidence-based methods, which are found to be the most effective. The medical community asserts that addiction is highly treatable with programs and services that address the person’s unique needs and preferences.
Before choosing a treatment center, find out if the facility conducts an assessment of the client before determining where they should be placed on the continuum of care. This review should cover a person’s physical and mental health care needs. This part of the process could uncover a mental health disorder, which may have previously been undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. If so, then a dual diagnosis program that addresses both the substance use disorder and mental health disorder at the same time is needed.
Also, ask any questions you may have, including if the facility offers any aftercare services that help clients find employment, housing, and more after treatment ends. The more support you receive before, during, and after treatment, the more committed you will remain to your sobriety.
Drinking Alcohol When Working from Home. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.alcohol.org/guides/work-from-home-drinking/
2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. PDF file. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018.pdf
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, April 30). Florida: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/florida-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms
DEA. (n.d.). Fentanyl. Retrieved from https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/fentanyl
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
WLRN. (2018, August 30) Heroin Overdoses In Broward Remain At Record Levels. Switalski, C. Retrieved from https://www.wlrn.org/post/heroin-overdoses-broward-remain-record-levels#stream/0
United Way of Broward County. United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse Drug Abuse Trends In Broward County, Florida. Annual Report: June 2017. Retrieved from https://www.unitedwaybroward.org/sites/default/files/images/Commission%20on%20Behavioral%20Health%20%26%20Drug%20Prevention/Prevention%20Resource%20Center/June-2017-Broward-Substance-Abuse-Trends-Report.pdf
Florida Department of Health. Patterns and Trends of the Opioid Epidemic in Florida 2018. Florida’s State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW). Retrieved from http://www.floridahealth.gov/statistics-and-data/e-forcse/fl-seow-annual-report-2018.pdf
Saunders, Jim. (2018, March 19). Gov. Rick Scott signs bill targeting opioid addiction in Florida. Retrieved from https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2018/03/19/gov-rick-scott-signs-bill-targeting-opioid-addiction-florida/438455002/
American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
NIDA. 2020, June 1. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment
American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2015, May 13) ASAM Continuum. Knowledge Base. What are the ASAM Levels of Care? Retrieved from https://www.asamcontinuum.org/knowledgebase/what-are-the-asam-levels-of-care/