St. Petersburg is the fourth most populous city in the state of Florida with a population of nearly 250,000. It’s the second largest city in the Tampa Bay Area which is the second largest metropolitan area in the state with a population of roughly 2.8 million residents. The city is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
St. Petersburg is nicknamed the Sunshine City with a purported average of 361 days of sunshine each year. It is a popular vacation destination for both American and foreign tourists, and has long been known as a popular retirement destination. This reputation earned St. Petersburg the nickname of God’s waiting room, but in recent years the population has shifted in a more youthful direction.
The city is known for a vibrant arts scene, and is also home to Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. It holds the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine for a stretch lasting 768 days in the late 1960s.
St. Petersburg Addiction Issues
St. Petersburg is located in the area which is designated the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The region was deemed a HIDTA in 1998 in response to an increase in smuggling of heroin and cocaine. Crackdowns at that time targeted Miami and Puerto Rico which made central Florida a new point of entry. Since that time the area has never lost that distinction, and continues to be a transportation route for Mexican drug trafficking organizations. These organizations are the dominant smugglers and wholesale distributors of cocaine, marijuana, ice methamphetamine, and heroin in the region.
For St. Petersburg residents this means a high availability of illicit addictive drugs. The widespread availability leads to an increase in substance abuse which is directly related to an increased rate of addiction. This creates a situation where if addicts are left untreated the numbers will continue to rise.
In recent years St. Petersburg and Tampa had become a major source area for diverted controlled prescription drugs in the eastern United States. Distributors and abusers would often travel to the region to illicitly obtain the medications from pain clinics which became known as pill mills. These clinics would make prescription painkillers available to clients who primarily paid cash for prescriptions without legitimate medical reasons. New legislation has cracked down on these pill mills and limited the availability of these drugs, but the damage related to widespread pill addiction has already been done.
A recent story on The Tampa Tribune website reports that this creates a situation where heroin could be the next epidemic in St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area. The article points to the fact that while the heroin deaths across the area remain relatively low, experts warn that the crackdown on prescription drug abuse could reverse the trend. Since heroin affects the brain in the same way that painkillers do it is a cheaper option to users who can no longer get pills. This means that substance abuse treatment is a painkiller addict’s best chance, and no one understands this better than St. Petersburg drug treatment centers.
As drug trends change drug treatment centers evolve to better serve the public. No matter what the primary substance for treatment admissions is, St. Petersburg drug treatment centers have experience dealing with it. While alcohol and marijuana continue to be the substances that more people enter treatment for in the state, over the years the remaining drugs on the list have been dictated by drug trends in the region. Cocaine, prescription medications, methamphetamine, and heroin round out the list and each have had periods of increasing popularity over the past decades. This means that St. Petersburg drug treatment centers know the unique problems that each substance creates for users, and can offer help to effectively manage the symptoms.
Many people who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol mistakenly believe that there is no help available to them. Others have tried treatment and were unable to stay clean or sober, and may believe that their situation is hopeless. The truth is that St. Petersburg rehab centers are widely available, and there are options for people of all means. Also, recovery is a long-term process, so setbacks are not an indication of failure. Because of the long-term nature of addiction substance abuse treatment centers continue to be the most effective way to learn to stop for good, and receive the support necessary to get back on track if things have gone wrong.
How to Find St. Petersburg Drug Treatment Centers
If you or someone you love is facing an addiction to drugs or alcohol you have more than enough on your plate. There are a wide variety of rehab options available which can make the decision-making process seem overwhelming. Fortunately finding the right center is probably much easier than you think and you should know that there are treatment center specialists that can help you get through the process. Working with an intake specialist can help you decide on the best type of program, and help you narrow your choices based on your individual needs.
There are treatment options available in both outpatient and inpatient settings. There are long-term and short-term centers which can be equally effective as a part of an overall long-term plan. Addiction is difficult but can be beaten with the right help. No addict should try to do it alone, and no addict should feel that they are too far gone.
The answer to your substance abuse problem is within your reach. Find a suitable St. Petersburg drug treatment center right now as this may be the most important decision you ever make. With help you can learn to live a substance-free life, and get back to feeling like your old self. Millions of addicts and alcoholics have done this before you, and you can use the same tools to succeed. The only addict who is unable to recover is the one that never seeks help.