Florida has a tough job when it comes to controlling the flow of illegal drugs. As a peninsula, Florida is easy to access on all sides from the sea. The state has long been the targeted destination of refugees from Cuba and drug traffickers from all over the Caribbean, Mexico and South America, because there are so many points to land a shipment of drugs.
In addition to its appeal as a target for drug traffickers, Florida also has a potential drug abuse problem that comes from a very different quarter. Due to its high number of retirees, Florida also has many citizens that are on a number of prescription drugs, including painkillers. When anyone takes one of these drugs for a long period time, the body builds up a tolerance and the user can quickly become addicted. Due to this, Florida has a skyrocketing rate of opioid and prescription drug abuse.
Statistics On Drug Use for the State of Florida
The following are the drug use statistics in Florida:
- In Florida, 8.42 percent of residents reported abusing a drug in the past month. This was slightly lower than the national average.
- The number of drug-induced deaths was higher than average, however. This may be due to the fact that 41 percent of all treatment admissions in Florida are for painkillers and other non-heroin opioids. These are very powerful and dangerous painkilling drugs that can easily cause overdoses.
- The total number of citizens that died was 3193. Florida is a big state, population-wise, but this still means that for every 100,000 citizens, 17.2 died of drug overdoses. This is five higher than the national average.
Drug Use in Florida
A news article from the Orlando Sentinel from the 2nd of November of 2013 indicates that the state of Florida ranks number eleven in the country for prescription drug abuse deaths. Right now there are 6.4 deaths for every 100,000 Floridians. The prescriptions that are taking Florida by storm are opiate painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin, Lortab, and Oxycodone. Use of these drugs in the country has risen across the country with 50 deaths every day from the drugs.
Here are the other drugs that are abused in Florida:
- Cocaine and crack continue to drop in use. After reaching almost 60 percent of all drug treatment admissions in 1992, these drugs now only account for about 10 percent of admissions.
- After a steady, decade-long climb, marijuana usage is now dropping off again by almost 10 percentage points, down to about 31 percent.
- Heroin usage and stimulants like meth both scrape the bottom of the barrel (luckily for Florida.) Only a few percent of all drug treatment admissions actually have an addiction to either or these drugs.
- Opioid abuse, such as misusing prescription painkillers, is skyrocketing upward and passing all forms of drug use. After sitting down around the 10 percent mark, admissions for this class of drugs now composes over 40% of all drug treatment.
Florida Drug Treatment Programs & Options
Because of the severity of the drug problem in Florida and the general serene environment and pleasant weather conditions, it is a destination area for drug treatment programs. Many effective long term and short-term residential programs exist in the state of Florida. There are also a number of holistic choices for rehab as well as outpatient and aftercare programs.
As with choosing the right program it is important to ask questions on the results, pricing, if the rehab takes insurance, length and modality of treatment before considering enrollment.
Resources & Sources for Florida Drug Treatment
WhiteHouse.gov – Florida Drug Control Update: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_florida_0.pdf
CDC.gov: Drug Overdose http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html