Over the past few years, the sunshine state has been plagued with the cloud of addiction. The transformation is one that has never been seen before, and fighting this problem has required the help of the entire country. Opioids are the primary reason the state of Florida has seen such a massive influx of overdose deaths and broken homes. There are many problems that come with addiction, but one of the biggest is that this epidemic is without boundaries.
Table of Contents
While the opioid crisis has taken its toll, the President of the United States has signed a new bill into law called SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. It is a bipartisan bill that funnels $8 billion dollars as a lifeline in the fight of opioids in struggling communities. At times, it seems that this is a cloud that is going to hang over the country with no end in sight, but drug addiction (to opioids specifically) is finally receiving the attention that it needs. The state of Florida and the United States are working together to find a solution to this problem.
While Florida has been inundated with drugs like heroin and prescription opioids, one of the major reasons behind this large increase in overdose deaths is the prevalence of fentanyl, an opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine. This is a drug that is measured in micrograms when discussing fatal doses, and those consuming the drug unknowingly face risks.
Palm Beach County has dealt with a huge increase in heroin that is laced with fentanyl. It is cheaply produced in Mexico and shipped north into the states. Dealers have found a way to increase their profits, and it involves risking the user’s life.
It doesn’t matter what socioeconomic background you identify with, no one is exempt from the grip of addiction. While it affects the United States as a whole, Florida has been ground zero for many different types of addiction over the years from cocaine in the 80s to bath salts in more recent years. The state is in such close proximity to South America that it is the ideal corridor to smuggle drugs into the country.
Substance Abuse in Florida
Due to its geographical positioning, South Florida is a strong trafficking point for drug cartels importing heroin into the states. Unfortunately, a lot of the remnants that come across stay in South Florida. Miami-Dade, Broward County, and Palm Beach County have all dealt with the severe consequences of the opioid epidemic.
The death rate in Boynton Beach and the surrounding area of Palm Beach County has risen disproportionately to other locations throughout the country. According to the Palm Beach Post, “a collection of drugs related to heroin killed 81 people in May  in Palm Beach County. In an effort to understand the severity of this increase, it took almost all of 2011 and 2012 to kill the same number of people with the same drugs.”
The problem has reached a breaking point in Palm Beach County. As of April 2018, the county filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers accusing them of corporate greed and pushing their agenda to get people hooked on their product.
They have joined a list of local governments that are also suing drug makers, distributors, and pharmacies for putting profits in front of public health. While we can blame an influx of illegal drugs coming over the border, we have to remember that prescription drugs are where an individual originally started using the drug
From April 2017 to April 2018, 800 people died of opioid overdoses in Palm Beach County making it one of the hardest hit counties in the state. Many believe these lawsuits are necessary for future success against this crisis, but the production of drugs like fentanyl in secret labs and the importing of heroin is the reason behind most of the problems plaguing this country.
During that time, doctors prescribed drugs at historic rates, and now with all of the federal input, they have forced many to obtain drugs from the street. This has, in turn, caused a huge problem with those consuming non-pharmaceutical-grade illicit drugs.
This turn to street drugs has pushed users to gamble with their lives. Addiction knows no boundaries, and those with the desire to use will stop at nothing to get their next fix. This has put a strain on emergency services and first responders that are requiring an additional several million dollars a year in costs to taxpayers.
Palm Beach estimates that the county spends $1,500 dollars when responding to an overdose, and in 2016 there was 4,000 alone.
Ready to get help?Let's get started nowLet our treatment experts call you today.
This is $6 million dollars a year in added costs. While saving a life is invaluable, these costs still have an impact. The silver lining of this situation is that access to treatment has become more attainable than in the past.
What to Look For In a Substance Abuse Treatment Program
Not only has access to treatment peaked in the past several years, but the quality of treatment has also improved dramatically over previous decades. Treatment is not a perfect solution, but the advances in modern medicine and clinical therapy have made great strides in the right direction.
Addiction has been classified as a chronic disease that is very treatable. When seeking out addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, there are certain criteria that must be considered before entering into a program.
There has been a steady rise in fraudulent treatment centers trying to steal money and take advantage of the vulnerable. This, in turn, caused the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to set forth criteria to help narrow your search. This information they released includes:
A facility must have specific accreditation to be considered credible. They must be reputable and have certifications that show their ability to adhere to strict guidelines set in place by the latest advances in addiction science
Facilities must practice evidence-based addiction practices. These boast the highest success rates in the industry and have a higher chance of being approved by insurance
Addiction is widely considered to be a family disease. When one person is struggling an addiction, their loved ones are also going through it. You must seek out a treatment center that practices family therapy
This has shown to be useful in the treatment of those that require extra help when dealing with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. For example, those who have a track record of opioid relapse may benefit from drugs like Suboxone to curve their cravings
Having the right support around you can be the difference between maintaining sobriety and relapse. Addiction is a disease that lasts a lifetime and the only way to ensure long-term sobriety is support. Look for treatment centers that offer alumni programs.
What Is Substance Abuse Treatment?
Substance abuse treatment in Boyton Beach is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. There are a variety of setting and different forms that can last for different lengths of time. Addiction is a chronic disorder that is often characterized by occasional relapse, which means that short-term treatment is not sufficient for true recovery.
In order to ensure the best results from a substance abuse program, the individual must spend at least 90 days total in treatment. Recovery is a long-term process that involves regular monitoring.
For many, the first portion of the continuum of care is medical detoxification. This allows the body to stabilize after long-term substance use and rid the system of the addictive substance. It allows an individual to mitigate the risks that can be involved from withdrawal. There are certain substances like benzodiazepines, alcohol, and barbiturates that have the potential to be deadly during withdrawal, making detox absolutely necessary. Other drugs like OxyContin or Tramadol are not necessarily dangerous but can be uncomfortable to the point of relapse if attempted alone.
During detox, you will have access to staff 24/7. Depending on the severity of the addiction, you could be placed in detox anywhere from three to seven days— even longer in some cases.
The staff will often administer medication to curb some of the worst symptoms and will monitor you around the clock to ensure your safety which is the top priority during this process. Upon entry, the medical staff will assess your needs and determine the best course of action and see if there are underlying factors fueling the addiction.
Following the success of detox, you will begin the next level of care. In some cases, this may be residential treatment, where you live at the facility and participate in daily therapy. You may also move onto outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment, where you will be able to participate in weekly therapy while living at home.
By calling (855)-463-0793 now or contacting us online, you’ll be connected to one of our admissions specialists who can any questions you may have about our facility or program, verify your insurance, and get you started on the admissions process.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). What is drug addiction treatment? Retrieved from from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/what-drug-addiction-treatment
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015, July 29). Addiction Science. Retrieved from from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/addiction-science
Swisher, S. (2018, April 05). New opioid lawsuit accuses drug companies of 'corporate greed'. Retrieved from from https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-reg-palm-opioid-suit-filed-20180405-story.html
Stucka, M. (2018, April 28). Powerful fentanyl cousins push rising death toll in Palm Beach County. Retrieved from from https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/local-govt--politics/powerful-fentanyl-cousins-push-rising-death-toll-palm-beach-county/5V8NuWRTvqi02MnBCfk73L/