Fort Lauderdale is a major South Florida city and the governmental seat of Broward County. Like many major American cities, Fort Lauderdale has been affected by the opioid crisis. But as opioids continue to be a problem, alcohol remains among the most commonly abused substances. When alcohol is mixed with other substances, it could be a deadly combination. Learn more about alcohol rehab in Fort Lauderdale.
Alcohol is among the most common psychoactive substances in the United States next to nicotine and caffeine. It’s also one of the most commonly abused substances and frequently used alongside other drugs.
According to Florida medical examiners, alcohol was present in 5,140 deaths in the state in 2018. Alcohol was the primary cause of death in 866 of those cases. It also was the most common psychoactive substance medical examiners found to be present at the time of death.
In Broward County, alcohol was detected in close to one-half of drug-related deaths in 2016. It was also the primary drug of choice for a fourth of people who entered addiction treatment that same year. However, binge drinking among students declined slightly over the years leading up to 2016.
Alcohol is frequently abused with other drugs, but mixing drugs with alcohol can be extremely dangerous. Drugs like benzodiazepines and opioids can potentiate with alcohol, which means their effects compound and become more intense. Mixing alcohol with stimulants like cocaine can counteract certain effects, encouraging users to take more than normal.
Medical examiners found that several benzodiazepine medications were found in decedents in 2017. In Fort Lauderdale, the benzo alprazolam was found in 116 deaths, but it was only found to be the only drug present in six cases. The rest of those cases involved alprazolam mixed with other substances. Polydrug use is common, especially with alcohol, and it increases the risk of severe side effects and death.
Florida became a haven for drug and alcohol rehab in the 20th century when treatment professionals were attracted to the state’s temperate climate. The state continued to grow as a popular destination in which to achieve sobriety. Florida treatment centers pioneered a method of addiction treatment called the “Florida Model,” which is a stepped approach to treatment and involves outpatient treatment with the use of sober living communities.
Ready to get Help?
Talk to a treatment expert
Florida has also seen some controversy surrounding addiction treatment. In the 1990s and 2000s, bad clinics popped up that distributed opioid pain medications with little oversight. Florida lawmakers have since passed legislation that outlawed these shady practices.
Addiction is a chronic disease that often requires treatment to address effectively. A severe alcohol use disorder is usually identified by compulsive drinking, even after you experience serious consequences.
Addiction treatment is a complex process that’s designed to help meet your specific needs and address underlying issues. Treatment looks at substance abuse, but it should also consider physical, psychological, and social needs. Depending on those needs, you will go through a unique treatment plan that may involve a variety of therapy options.
Substance use disorders are progressive, so it’s important to seek addiction treatment for an alcohol problem as soon as possible. If left unaddressed, alcoholism can lead to severe consequences for your health, relationships, and other areas of your life.
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. (n.d.). Opioids. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
United Way of Broward County. (2018). Broward County Opioid Action Plan. Retrieved from https://www.unitedwaybroward.org/prevention-resource-center