South Florida is a large coastal metropolitan area with several major seaports, including in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Large urban areas that see a lot of international trade are vulnerable to high drug availability through the illicit drug trade. Places like South Florida may see a high availability of illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine, in addition to illegally used prescription drugs. Easy access to drugs can present a serious public health threat that requires access to effective drug rehab. Learn more about the need for drug rehab in South Florida.
South Florida is known as a hot spot for alcohol and drug rehab in the country. However, it’s also a state with a significant need for solutions to substance use disorders. According to a Florida medical examiners report, there were 28,227 investigated deaths in 2018, and 12,080 of them involved drugs or alcohol. Alcohol was present in more than 18 percent of cases, making it the most frequently involved drug. Cocaine was the most common illicit drug. In 2018, there were 236 cocaine-related deaths in Fort Lauderdale, 363 in Miami, and 338 in West Palm Beach.
There were 5,576 opioid deaths reported in the state, which is around a 10 percent decrease from 2017. Still, in South Florida, there continue to be high overdose death rates related to the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is often mixed into heroin and other drugs. There were 166 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Miami, 335 in West Palm Beach, and 287 in Fort Lauderdale.
Alcohol and marijuana are the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. Alcohol contributes to more than 88,000 deaths per year. In Florida, cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl are also common. Benzodiazepines were also commonly found in deaths in the state. These sedative-hypnotic drugs are often prescribed to treat sleep disorders or anxiety.
They may also be abused for their intoxicating effects and can be deadly when mixed with alcohol or opioids. Alprazolam was the most commonly found benzodiazepine in 2018 deaths. There were 173 alprazolam deaths in Miami, 232 in West Palm, and 116 in Fort Lauderdale. However, all but 23 of those cases involved other drugs.
In the Miami area, alcohol, marijuana, and heroin were the most common substances that were cited as a primary drug of abuse in people seeking addiction treatment. Prescription opioid and cocaine round out the top five. Among these drugs, men made up the majority of people that sought treatment except in prescription opioids, where 55 percent of patients were women.
Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that’s unlikely to go away if it’s ignored. Instead, it’s more likely to get worse over time. Addiction is a complicated disease that affects multiple areas of your life. For that reason, treatment is a complex process that’s tailored to your individual needs.
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Effective recovery programs should address multiple issues, including those that are physical, psychological, and social in nature, and various therapies can help recovering users overcome their substance use.
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
NDEWS Coordinating Center. (2017, November). Southeastern Florida (Miami Area) Sentinel Community Site … Retrieved from https://ndews.umd.edu/sites/ndews.umd.edu/files/florida-scs-drug-use-patterns-and-trends-2017-final.pdf
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
RxList. (2018, February 6). Benzodiazepines Drug Class: Side Effects, Types & Uses. Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/benzodiazepines/drug-class.htm