Orlando is a popular tourist destination in the state of Florida.  It is the fifth largest city in the state with a population of about 240,000, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area which has a population of more than 2.1 million residents.

More than 51 million tourists visit Orlando’s famous attractions each year.  The city is nicknamed The Theme Park Capital of the World, and is home to the Walt Disney Resort.  It is also the location of several other theme parks including Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, City Walk: SeaWorld, Gatorland, and Wet ‘n Wild Water Park.  Orlando is also one of the busiest American cities for conventions and conferences.

The city grew rapidly during the 1980s through the first decade of the twenty-first century.  It has the second-largest university campus in the US in terms of enrollment, the University of Central Florida.  In 2009 Orlando ranked as the fourth most popular American city where people want to live according to a Pew Research study.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Orlando

On average Florida residents consume illicit substances at a rate that is consistent with the national average of 8 percent.  They seek help for alcohol addiction issues at a rate that is slightly lower than the average, but these numbers have been highly variable over the years.  The region also faces some unique challenges when it comes to addiction specifically related to the prevalence of drug trafficking in the area.

In 1998 the United States Department of Justice included Orlando in the area labeled the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.  This distinction indicates that a number of factors make the area popular with drug trafficking organizations.  This creates a situation where illicit drugs are plentiful and affordable, and means that Orlando drug treatment centers need to be available to help battle the area’s drug problem.

Alcohol and marijuana are the top two primary substances of Orlando drug treatment center admissions.  Both have a high incidence of addiction for regular users, and both can be very difficult to quit without professional help.  Physical dependence to these substances can occur for anyone, and once it has developed the user is faced with several obstacles that get in the way of continued abstinence.  For this reason substance abuse treatment can be necessary in order to manage the long-term symptoms related to pot or alcohol addiction.

According to a report published by the White House, Orlando drug treatment centers also see a high number of primary treatment admissions for the following substances:

  • Prescription painkillers which are used for non-medical purposes
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Other Stimulants such as methamphetamine

Cocaine and methamphetamine are stimulants that are widely available in the Orlando area.  These drugs are popular among criminal drug trafficking organizations due to their high profitability.  Both substances have a very high incidence of addiction in regular users which is characterized by a strong psychological addiction.  When a person becomes dependent on meth or coke they can experience intense cravings for months after they have stopped using.  These cravings are the primary cause of relapse, and can be best managed with the help of an Orlando drug treatment center.

The addiction to prescription medications is different from that of stimulants, but it equally devastating for users.  Painkillers and sedatives create a strong physical dependence with regular use which causes the individual to experience a painful withdrawal when they stop using.  While the acute phase of withdrawal may only last for a week or two, many addicts are unable to get through it without help.  Prescription medications also have long-term symptoms that can last for up to a year once a person gets clean.  Orlando drug treatment centers can help addicts get through the painful withdrawal from these medications, and teach them skills to maintain their abstinence once treatment is complete.

Recently the Florida government has initiated a crackdown on pain clinics that had been responsible for a high number of these medications being available to the public.  While this has been effective for limiting the availability of prescription opioids, some experts warn that it may lead to a rise in heroin use.  A recent article from the Orlando Sentinel says heroin abuse in the region is on the increase, and there is fear that it will return to epidemic proportions as it did twenty years ago.

Heroin and prescription opioids affect the exact same area of the brain.  For this reason former pill addicts can turn to the street drug when they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  Many pill abusers also try heroin because of the lower price, and often get hooked right away.  Orlando drug treatment centers understand the unique challenges opioid addicts face in early recovery, and have decades of experience in helping them to get clean.

How to Find Help through an Orlando Drug Treatment Center

Addiction is difficult to overcome even under the best circumstances, and recovery is a process that shouldn’t be tackled alone.  There are a number of problems that addicts face throughout this process, and many pressures that can lead them back to active use.  Orlando drug treatment centers offer treatment in wide range of options to assist individuals on their journey.

Finding the right center can initially seem overwhelming.  Due to the number of choices it is important to find the one that will best address the addict’s personal needs.  Fortunately there are treatment specialists available to make the decision-making process easier, and ensure that you understand what is available.  Generally there are centers that can fit with any lifestyle, and a range of options that people can choose from regardless of background or personal means.

Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a situation that doesn’t resolve itself.  If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse issues it is imperative that you reach out for help.  The resources you need are available, and a healthy, productive drug-free life is within your reach.

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