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The state of Florida is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Millions of people visit the state every year seeking fun in the sun and a plethora of other activities. All of this traffic going into and out of the state also brings an abundance of substance abuse and other drug-related problems. In fact, Florida has the fifth highest rate of violent crime in the U.S. A significant portion of this crime rate is the result of drug-related activities.
The current drug epidemic in Florida leads to increased costs for law enforcement, higher crime rates, lost productivity, and a mounting death toll. Governor Rick Scott has proposed legislation to provide $54 million grant money to expand prevention and education programs and to provide treatment services to those in need. He also declared the drug epidemic a public health emergency. Governor Scott had this to say about the situation in Florida:
“I know firsthand how heartbreaking substance abuse can be to a family because it impacted my own family growing up," Scott said in a statement. "The individuals struggling with drug use are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends and each tragic case leaves loved ones searching for answers and praying for help."
Florida’s location puts it in a perfect position to be a major port of entry for drugs coming from Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia. As a result, more than 410,000 Floridians were dependent on illicit drugs between 2013 and 2014. Statewide drug overdose totals increased by 55% in 2016 with 5,167 deaths reported. Below is a look at the statistics for the most commonly abused drugs in Florida:
In 2016, 952 people in Florida died from heroin overdose.
Between 2013 and 2014 heroin overdose deaths increased 124%.
In 2015 the deaths increased 80% in just the first half of the year.
Last year in Broward County, 159 people died from heroin overdose.
Young adults between 18 and 29 years old are most affected by heroin.
Fentanyl-laced heroin killed 220 people in Miami-Dade County in 2016.
About 58% of Floridians drink alcohol.
In 2016, 51% of high school students admitted using alcohol regularly.
Alcohol-induced deaths reached 103 between 2010 and 2012.
More than 8,000 people were killed by drunk drivers from 2003 to 2012.
In 2016, treatment admissions for alcohol reached 24,329.
Cocaine overdose deaths in Florida rose from 1,318 in 2012 to 1,834 in 2015.
Florida is a major trade center for cocaine in the U.S.
In 2016, 2.5% of high school students surveyed admitted to using crack cocaine.
Of the 1,144 cocaine overdose deaths statewide, 88% involved at least one other substance.
Between 2015 and 2016 treatment admissions for meth rose to more than 3,000.
At least 305 people had meth in their system at the time of death.
Meth overdose deaths have increased by 165% since 2011.
In 2013, about 90 meth labs were seized. More than 650 labs were busted in 2011 alone.
Fentanyl and carfentanil (opioids) mixed with heroin contributed to 220 deaths in 2016. Ten of those deaths happened in one weekend alone.
Physicians in Florida prescribed 10-times more oxycodone than any other state.
About 5,725 deaths in 2015 were attributed to opioids.
In 2016, prescription drugs killed more people than street drugs such as heroin.
At least 10 people die each day of an opioid overdose in Florida.
As many as 525 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016.
In 2016, as many as 13,039 treatment admissions were for opioid abuse.
Overall, in 2015, fentanyl, heroin, and oxycodone were responsible for 3,896 deaths in Florida.
In addition to programs such as the PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program), many organizations in the state are increasing their efforts to spread awareness about the dangers of substance abuse. Some of those agencies are:
Finding the right treatment program for yourself or a loved one can be complicated and confusing. If you would like help choosing a drug rehab, please call our toll-free number now. We can help you find a treatment center that is right for you.
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