Addiction and substance abuse are significant problems in the United States, with around 10 percent of adults experiencing a substance use disorder at some point in their lives. Like most of the country, the state of Florida has been significantly impacted by the opioid epidemic of the last decade. As opioid addiction and overdose take its toll on public health, other drugs continue to be a problem.
Pembroke Pines is a sizable community in western Broward County, Florida, that has been affected by addiction and drug abuse issues along with the rest of the state. Illicit drugs come into the state through trafficking by sea. Even though Pembroke Pines is an inland city, its proximity to major ports like Fort Lauderdale and Miami means that there is high access to certain illicit substances.
Learn more about drugs and drug rehab in Pembroke Pines, FL.
Broward County has been affected by the surge in fentanyl that’s caused a spike in overdose death rates in the country. The drug is mixed into other substances like heroin, cocaine, and even meth. It’s so powerful that even a small dose can cause a deadly overdose. In Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines’s neighbor to the east, 110 people died of heroin-related overdoses in 2018. At the same time, in Fort Lauderdale, fentanyl was involved in 287 deaths.
According to the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University, cocaine and benzodiazepine overdose rates have risen, largely because they are mixed with opioids like fentanyl.
All across the country, the most commonly abused substances are alcohol and marijuana. They are the most easily accessible, and alcohol is the most common substance of abuse that people in which people seek addiction treatment. In Broward County, the vast majority (up to 87 percent) of adolescents that seek treatment is primarily for marijuana use. After marijuana, heroin is the most easily accessible drug in the country, especially in South Florida. Other common drugs of abuse are prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, cocaine, synthetic marijuana, and synthetic cathinones. Meth is a problem in Florida, but its prevalence in Broward County is comparatively low.
Florida has a history as a desirable location for drug rehab. Not only does it have great weather and year-round sunshine, but it also has dozens of reputable treatment centers that have been open for years. Florida came to be such a hub for addiction treatment that a treatment model was named after it. The Florida model was developed in the state and involves a stepped approach to treatment progression.
In the past few decades, some Florida clinics have been shut down for unethical practices. Several clinics in the 1990s and 2000s gave out opioid medications in large quantities with inadequate oversight. The resulting “pill mill” scandal may have contributed to the overall opioid issue in the country. Florida lawmakers have since passed new laws to crack down on these clinics.
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Addiction treatment is a complex process that’s designed to address multiple issues related to substance use issues. It should address more than just substance abuse, including underlying mental health issues, medical problems, and social issues. Treatment should also be personalized to your individual needs. Addiction is complicated, and people respond to different therapeutic approaches.
Addiction is a chronic disease, but it’s treatable with the right approach. Drug rehab centers should look at substance use disorders as medically and clinically treatable, working with you to achieve long-term sobriety. Medication, behavioral counseling, and relapse prevention strategizing are just a few of the ways addiction can be treated.
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
Spencer, T. (2019, July 20). Florida 'pill mills' were 'gas on the fire' of opioid crisis. Retrieved from https://apnews.com/0ced46b203864d8fa6b8fda6bd97b60e
United Way of Broward County. (2017, June). Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.unitedwaybroward.org/commission-behavioral-health-drug-prevention