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Florida is a state with year-round sunshine and the second-longest coastline in the United States. These prime conditions have made it a popular destination for drug rehab. Treatment centers opened up in the state throughout the 20th century with the idea that recovery could begin in a comfortable climate.
However, Florida is also a popular location for drug trafficking. With several major port cities, drugs are smuggled into the state by ship. Though Brevard County doesn’t have the largest ports in the state, it does see some consequences of the illicit drug trade.
Addressing the problem of addiction in the U.S. requires access to effective drug rehab, especially in light of the opioid crisis. Learn more about drug rehab and the scope of drug abuse in Brevard County.
According to the Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Brevard County is among the top three counties in Florida in overdose deaths. This is largely due to the influx of opioids like heroin and fentanyl into the state. The county experienced 172 deaths due to opioid overdose in the past two years. In the spring of 2019, the Sheriff’s department arrested more than 100 people for selling fentanyl, heroin, or methamphetamine. They seized enough fentanyl for every person in the county to overdose.
While illicit drugs are a significant problem, prescription opioids have also been abused. In the city of Melbourne, medical examiners reported that oxycodone was involved in 81 overdose deaths in 2016. Seven of those deaths involved oxycodone and no other drugs.
Besides opioids, Floridians also abuse amphetamines, benzodiazepines, alcohol, cannabis, hallucinogens, methamphetamine, and psychedelics. Central nervous system depressants like benzodiazepines and alcohol can be deadly when mixed with opioids. Each of these drugs works to slow down the nervous system and can cause respiratory depression when they’re taken in high doses. When they’re combined, even relatively normal doses can cause an overdose.
Florida has been a popular destination for drug rehab for decades, so there are several treatment center options throughout the state. Florida pioneered a stepped approach to treatment, which came to be known as the Florida Model, and it’s widely used today.
However, Florida’s drug rehab past has recently incurred a blemish in the “Pill Mill” scandal. Starting in the 90s and ramping up in the 2000s, clinics opened up that would give out narcotic prescriptions with very little oversight or regulation.
People would come from all over the U.S. to buy large amounts of pills that would be taken into the rest of the country to be sold on the street.
These pill mills are thought to have aggravated the nation’s opioid crisis until Florida legislation, and law enforcement cracked down on it in the 2010s.
There is no one treatment plan that will be equally effective for everyone. People are unique and come to treatment with different sets of issues. For treatment to be effective, it needs to be tailored to your individual needs.
Treatment should also address more than just substance abuse issues. Addiction can come with several underlying issues that could be causes or consequences of drug use like mental health issues. If these other problems are ignored, it could lead to a relapse.