The opioid epidemic has increased addiction and overdose trends all over the United States. As doctors, researchers, and media focus on the opioid problem, other drugs continue to be a threat to public health. Addiction is a chronic disease that can affect anyone. Even in sunny South Florida, addiction is a significant problem.
Pompano Beach is a coastal city in southeast Florida. Illicit drugs arrive in the United States through illegal trafficking, primarily. Drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine come into the country over borders or by sea. South Florida is home to several large seaports, including Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Pompano Beach residents aren’t far away from easy access to illicit substances. Plus, Florida has seen a surge in fentanyl, a powerful opioid that’s led to a spike in overdose deaths in the last few years.
Learn more about drug rehab in Pompano Beach and the drug abuse trends in the state of Florida.
Alcohol addiction is among the leading causes for people to seek treatment in the country. In Broward County, nearly one-half of drug overdose deaths involved alcohol in 2016. However, binge drinking among Broward students declined between 2010 and 2016. At the same time, marijuana use was the leading cause for adolescents to seek addiction treatment, with 87 percent of addiction treatment patients under 18 using marijuana as their primary drug of abuse.
Heroin and other opioids continue to cause overdose deaths throughout the state and the country. Just to the south of Pompano Beach in Fort Lauderdale, 110 people died from overdoses related to heroin in 2018. The vast majority of those deaths involved other drugs. Fentanyl is often mixed with heroin, increasing the risk of a fatal overdose. Fentanyl was involved in 287 deaths in Fort Lauderdale in the same year.
Alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids are the most widely available substances that are acquired through legal means. Marijuana and heroin are the most common widely available illicit drugs in the United States. In Pompano Beach and Broward County, meth use is low compared to other Florida counties. Other common drugs include synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones, also called flakka or bath salts.
Florida’s sunshine and weather have attracted people who want to recover from substance addiction as well as those who want to help people recover. Rehab centers throughout the state have helped many address their substance use disorders.
Florida addiction treatment has also received some attention because of the “pill mill” scandal. In the 1990s and 2000s, unethical clinics that gave out opioids with little oversight. This practice may have contributed to the opioid epidemic in the country as a whole. Lawmakers have since cracked down on these practices and closed those clinics.
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Addiction treatment must also address underlying issues besides substance abuse, including past traumas, mental health issues, social issues, and anything else that may lead you to cope with drugs or alcohol. Addiction treatment is multidisciplinary, which means it addresses medical, psychological, and social problems.
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. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
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