Addiction and overdose rates have reached epidemic proportions, and the increases don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. With an influx of prescription opioid and illicit options, overdose rates continue to skyrocket with each year worse than the last.
Addiction and overdose rates have reached epidemic proportions. With an influx of prescription opioids and illicit options, overdose rates continue to skyrocket each year. Most recently, powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl have made their way into illicit heroin and other drugs, causing drug users to unknowingly take exceedingly potent doses.
Florida is home to many transplants from the Northeast, an area that’s been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Many of the city’s transplants and long-time residents have substance use problems that need to be addressed. However, with several major port cities in Florida, it also has its fair share of illicit drugs coming through smuggling routes. Still, West Palm Beach also has a long history of addiction treatment and rehab options.
Learn more about addiction treatment options and the landscape of addiction recovery in West Palm Beach, Florida.
According to the most recent statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), synthetic opioids were involved in nearly 30,000 overdose deaths in 2017; just three years before that, synthetic opioids killed fewer than 5,000 people.
Florida is among the many states in the U.S. that are seeing a dramatic increase in overdose deaths, especially those involving opioids. According to NIDA, there were 2,798 opioid-related overdose deaths in the state in 2016, which is higher than the national average.
The illicit drug trade is not the only source of opioids in Florida. NIDA reports that Florida healthcare providers wrote nearly 13.6 million opioid prescriptions in 2013 alone. Opioid prescriptions in the states have declined since 2013, but not before flooding the population with prescription pills. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has reported an increase in the drug trade, specifically involving heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
With a high availability of illicit and prescription drugs, it’s estimated that 89,216 people above the age of 11-years-old had a substance use disorder in the past 12 months in Palm Beach County between 2012 and 2014.
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Prescription and illicit opioids have led to a health crisis in the United States and West Palm Beach. However, the city also sees addiction and overdose-related to other substances, including:
According to illicit drug seizures in 2016, the most commonly trafficked drugs in South Florida were cocaine, cannabis, heroin, alprazolam, fentanyl, oxycodone, meth, dibutylone, and amphetamine.
West Palm Beach is one of the country’s central hubs for addiction treatment.
Groundbreaking research and addiction treatment modalities, including the Florida Addiction Treatment Model, have come out of West Palm Beach.
However, the state, especially Palm Beach County, was plagued by unscrupulous clinics that gave out narcotic pills without much oversite.
These pills were often bought by people that came from out of state that would return home to sell them.
Florida legislation has since cracked down on these shady rehab centers and increased the standard for addiction treatment in Florida.
Addiction is a complex and chronic disease that requires sophisticated treatment options to address. Like other chronic diseases, including hypertension and asthma, addiction has relapse rates as high as 60 percent.
To effectively treat addiction and facilitate a long-term change, it’s important to seek out high-quality addiction treatment with evidence-based treatment options and qualified medical and clinical professionals.
DEA Releases 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment. (2017, October 23). Retrieved from https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2017/10/23/dea-releases-2017-national-drug-threat-assessment
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, August 09). Overdose Death Rates. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, February 28). Florida Opioid Summary. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/florida-opioid-summary
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
Southeastern Florida (Miami Area) Sentinel Community Site (SCS) Drug Use Patterns and Trends, 2017. (2017, November). Southeastern Florida (Miami Area) Sentinel Community Site … Retrieved from https://ndews.umd.edu/sites/ndews.umd.edu/files/SCS-Report-2018-Southeastern-Florida-FINAL.pdf
Spencer, T. (2019, July 20). Florida 'pill mills' were 'gas on the fire' of opioid crisis. Retrieved from https://apnews.com/0ced46b203864d8fa6b8fda6bd97b60e