The state of Florida has gone through a transformation of sorts in the last several years. Cocaine was always a hot commodity in the state with such easy access for smugglers from Latin America, but the landscape has begun to change. The United States has been struggling to contain a major opioid crisis that emerged in this past decade. The President of the United States acknowledged the severity of the crisis, and a turning point in American history was declaring a nationwide Public Health Emergency. Since 2000, more than 300,000 American’s have lost their lives to opioid overdoses.
Table of Contents
On March 19th, 2018, the President introduced a new website named the CrisisNextDoor. It’s a page where you can share your story of addiction and highlights the dire crisis the U.S. is facing. The first page shows that in 2018 more than two million American’s will suffer from addiction to prescription or illicit opioids. Those who visit the site are urged to share their own stories about the dangers of opioid addiction. All walks of life from any socioeconomic background and age group are not exempt from falling victim to drug abuse. It can start as pain relief from surgery that snowballs into full-blown drug addiction.
More recently, a new bill was passed on October 24th of 2018 that is meant to combat opioid abuse. This legislation covers other types of substance abuse, expands treatment options, and removed a ban on Medicaid reimbursing residential treatment facilities with more than 16 beds. Another 60 million dollars was put aside for infants that are born drug-dependent and authorization for programs. This shows the depth of the crisis that is decimating the country. The state of Florida has been hit especially hard with the influx of heroin flowing from South America, and the emergence of a synthetic opioid called fentanyl.
The influx in fentanyl-laced drugs and usage rate was gasoline to an already raging fire. This has been a huge contributor to deaths in Palm Beach County. While fentanyl does possess medical qualities for treating chronic pain it is used in severe cases. Those who have become tolerant to opioid medications for their pain will be prescribed fentanyl as a last resort. It is 50 times stronger than heroin, and 100 times stronger than morphine. Its rise in popularity has created controversy while finding ways to fight it. As listed above, there are measures set forth to challenge these issues, but only time answer questions about results.
Addiction is hard, but recovery doesn’t have to be. Let us do the work, request a call now!
Addiction is hard, but recovery doesn’t have to be. Let us do the work, request a call now!
Substance Abuse in Florida
As highlighted at the beginning of this article, south Florida is the number one United States point of entry for heroin flowing from Latin America and Mexico. The monthly death rate in Palm Beach County has risen each month sharply. These deaths are caused by heroin, morphine, fentanyl, and other fentanyl analogs. A collection of drugs related to heroin killed 81 people in Palm Beach in just May alone. To put this into perspective, it took almost all of 2011 and 2012 to claim the same amount of lives with the same drugs.
In 2014, the state of Florida had 410,000 residents that were addicted to drugs.
Two years later in 2016 studies showed that 5,000 drug overdoses took place in the state. These are staggering statistics that continue to show upward trends for drug abuse. These have called for drastic measures, and the county of Palm Beach has vowed to sue opioid manufacturers for the damage they have inflicted upon the state. The lawsuit accuses drug companies of corporate greed and putting profits ahead of the public’s health fueling an opioid epidemic. This has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
Between 2017 and 2018, 600 people died of opioid overdoses in Palm Beach. While these lawsuits are certainly warranted, the production of drugs from clandestine labs are accounting for many problems in the country. One could argue that overprescribing of medications cleared a path toward heroin and fentanyl, but the lawsuits should indicate one thing – the government is finally clamping down on the carnage opioid addiction has left in its path.
Florida has been strained on many levels ranging from emergency services, jails, and safety-net treatment centers that produce millions of dollars in extra costs for state taxpayers. Palm Beach County spends1,500 dollars when responding to an overdose, and there were more than 4,000 recorded in 2016. This translates to six million dollars of extra costs. When the dust settles, there has been one positive to take from these tragedies. This has caused lawmakers, politicians, government officials, and addiction specialists to finally agree about one thing. Addiction is a disease, and easy access to treatment is a right.
What to Look For in a Substance Abuse Treatment Program
There are many options throughout South Florida to consider for treatment. This can be extremely overwhelming based on the sheer volume of treatment centers, but in order to begin narrowing down your options, there must be guidelines that are followed. If you have considered treatment this means you have admitted to a problem. This is the hardest step, and finding a treatment center shouldn’t be. The goal of treatment is to only attend once and learn how to manage the addiction. This is a disease that will stick around for a lifetime, so learning how to cope is necessary.
When considering substance abuse treatment in south Florida, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has released information that will narrow your search down. The criteria they have set in place include:
In order to ensure the best care, a facility must be reputable and possess the right credentials. In order to gain this status and certain certifications, they must adhere to strict guidelines set in place by addiction professionals
Look for a facility that provides evidence-based treatment. These facilities offer practices that will have a higher chance of being approved by insurance. They must be backed by addiction research and the science community with a track record of proven success
The family disease – that is what addiction has been widely considered to be. It’s not just the user who suffers during this time, and it is important to find a facility that offers care for the whole family
Those who need a little extra help will benefit from medication management. Some have a track record of relapse, and treatments that offer this can give a different angle to work with
Addiction is a disease that will stick around for life – find a facility that offers support long-term. This can be in the form of 12-step or alumni programs geared toward prolonged sobriety
What Is Substance Abuse Treatment?
Substance abuse treatment is meant to help someone suffering from addiction to fall out of the never-ending cycle. It allows the person to better understand what contributes to their desires to use by identifying the root of the problem. There are physical and psychological aspects that can contribute to drug use, and identifying what is causing this will be the only effective means of treating it.
The first and often most difficult step of treatment is medical detoxification. This will have you living on-site in a treatment facility for three to seven days and will be under 24-hour supervision of medical staff. Depending on the severity of the addiction and types of drug used, the team could provide medication to alleviate the worst symptoms of withdrawal the client can experience. The length of stay varies from one client to another, but on average will be about a week. This is designed to clear the drugs from your system and stabilize the mind and body before being moved to the next level of care.
After the team decides you are stable, you will be placed in either residential treatment or an outpatient program. These determinations are made based on the severity of addiction, the type of drugs used, and the client’s history. During the admissions, the team will have assessed your needs and where you will be placed. No treatment plan will be the same for anyone because of the unique requirements, but it’s necessary to have staff that can diagnose underlying factors contributing to their addiction.
Ready to get help?Let our treatment experts call you today.
There are different levels of treatment that range from most intensive to the least. This is how the treatment continuum breaks down:
- Medical Detoxification
- Residential Treatment
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- Outpatient Care
- Post-Treatment Mantainence
Are You Suffering From Addiction? We Can Help!
Are you or a loved one currently struggling with addiction? Let our experts here at New Perspectives help you! Specializing in medication-assisted treatment, we are confident our evidence-based practices can help get you or your loved one healthy, happy, and most importantly sober!
By calling (855) 463-0793 now, 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. Feel free to contact us online as well. We are standing by 24-7 ready to take your call and help you get the proper addiction treatment you both need and deserve!
Stucka, M. (2018, April 28). Powerful fentanyl cousins push rising death toll in Palm Beach County. from https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/local-govt--politics/powerful-fentanyl-cousins-push-rising-death-toll-palm-beach-county/5V8NuWRTvqi02MnBCfk73L/
Bill to Fight U.S. Opioid Crisis Signed Into Law. (2018, October 31). from https://www.clinicalpainadvisor.com/opioid-addiction/bill-fighting-opioid-crisis-signed-law/article/810353/
The Opioid Crisis. (n.d.). from https://www.whitehouse.gov/opioids/