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Access to effective drug rehab is an important part of combating substance use disorders and addiction in Florida. Even smaller counties, like Flagler County, can be affected by addiction, especially in light of the recent opioid epidemic. Learn more about the scope of drug use in Florida and Flagler County.
Though Flagler County is a relatively small coastal county of 110,510 people, it’s affected by substance use problems and the recent opioid epidemic. In 2019, 14 people died of a drug overdose in Flagler County, an increase from just six the year before. Neighboring Volusia County saw 144 drug overdose deaths in 2019.
Florida has seen relatively high overdose death rates for a variety of substances, including alcohol. In 2018, there were 5,140 alcohol-related deaths in the state, according to a 2018 report of drugs found by medical examiners. The report also found that heroin was involved in 940 deaths, fentanyl was involved in 2,703 deaths, and cocaine was involved in 2,856 deaths.
Flagler county saw more deaths due to stimulants like methamphetamines and cocaine than by any one particular opioid. Though opioids like prescription medicines, heroin, and fentanyl were all a problem in the state. Alcohol abuse is a consistent issue for most counties in the country, with one in six adults binge drinking four times per month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other substances of abuse in Flagler county may include benzodiazepines, marijuana, cathinones, ketamine, and hallucinogens.
Florida has a history as a popular destination for substance abuse treatment. Through the 20th century, treatment centers were set up in the state for its temperate, subtropical climate and its year-round sunshine. The idea was to offer treatment in the most comfortable location possible.
The treatment boom in Florida led to the pioneering of what would come to be known as the Florida model, a stepped approach to treatment where clients would progress from highly structured treatment to treatment with more independence.
However, recent Florida history has left the state with a low point in its treatment track record.
In the 1990s and 2000s, unethical clinics were set up that would dispense opioid medications with very little oversight. People would come from all over the country to buy the drugs and then sell them in their home states. The problem came to be known as the “pill mill” scandal, and it may have been one of the factors that contributed to the current opioid crisis. Florida lawmakers have since worked to crack down on these clinics.
Addiction treatment is often necessary to overcome substance use disorders. Treatment should be complex, attending to multiple needs, including physical, psychological, and social needs. It should also be tailored to individuals that seek addiction treatment. People that enter addiction treatment are unique and come with different sets of problems. Addiction is complicated and may involve many different causes and consequences. Effective treatment will be personalized to the needs of each person.