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Substance abuse in Florida: 11 startling statistics

Substance abuse in Florida

As the third most populous US state, Florida is known for its stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Beyond these attractive qualities, however, Florida has a widespread addiction problem. With so many people needing help with drug abuse and addiction, treatment is more important than ever. These 11 statistics about substance abuse in Florida illustrate this point in a shocking way.

Thankfully, there are many safe rehab centers in Florida that offer quality, individualized treatment programs for patients struggling with addiction. Get a better picture of the substance abuse situation in Florida by looking at the numbers below.

Percentage of residents using illicit substances

Around 8.32 percent of Florida residents reported the use of illicit drugs in the month preceding an important national survey. As per the 2010-2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 8.32 percent or around 1.5 million Florida residents were using illicit drugs.

The percentage of illicit drug users in Florida was much higher than the national average then, which was 3.33 percent. The age group with the highest recorded number of drug users was 18-25 years old.

Hospital admissions relating to Florida substance abuse

Did you know that 41 percent of in-hospital admissions were due to abuse of non-heroin opiates? That’s as per the US government link cited earlier in this post.

Non-heroin opiates include fentanyl, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. They are common prescription opioids that can produce euphoric sensations similar to the after-effects of heroin.

Meth lab seizures

In 2012, the number of recorded meth lab seizure incidents in Florida was 327 (see link above). In 2014, the county with the most meth labs was Bay, with a total of 76 meth labs. Brevard and Escambia followed behind Bay with 59 and 55 meth labs, respectively.

Former meth labs can continue releasing chemicals, making them hazardous environments. They are also prone to pest infestations and other unsanitary conditions, making hiring a local or Minnesota meth lab cleanup service an essential action. The specialists follow safe cleanup practices according to regulations to reduce exposure to toxic elements in the home relating to methamphetamine manufacturing.

These laboratories can be set up in residential houses, hotel or motel rooms, barns, and even sheds. They can be built using common household items and may involve various metals, salts, solvents, and explosives.

Some medications, such as those used for colds and allergies, can also be used to cook up meth. Making meth is dangerous as it produces large amounts of noxious wastes.

What about drugs other than cannabis?

According to the 2009-2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 3.09 percent of Florida residents reported the use of drugs other than marijuana.

Marijuana is a popular illicit drug in Florida. Other common illicit substances being used in the state are cocaine, heroin, and meth.

Fatalities relating to substance abuse in Florida

Drug-related deaths in Florida hit 3,181 in 2010, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Drug-induced death rates in Florida in 2010 were 16.9 per 100,000 population. That number was higher than the national average of 12.9 per 100,000 population. This stat is also higher than the number of deaths resulting from firearms and motor vehicle accidents in the same year (2,268 and 2,536, respectively).

On drugged driving

In 2010, one in three fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents were cases involving individuals who were positive for drug use. That staggering statistic about substance abuse comes from Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) data from 2009.

That FARS data concerns drugged driving. It is a common problem among drug users, which makes it a topic for this list of statistics about substance abuse in Florida.

Drugged driving is highly dangerous behavior because drugs can greatly impair judgment and slow down the brain’s reaction time. Two common substances involved in drugged driving are alcohol and marijuana.

What about the numbers on opioids?

In 2018, around 68 percent or 3,189 of the nearly 5,000 reported drug-related deaths involved opioids.

Synthetic opioids like methadone were the leading cause of opioid-related deaths in Florida, with 2,091 recorded deaths in 2018. As for deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin, they were 1,282 and 689 deaths, respectively (a rate of 10.7).

Below are yet more statistics about substance abuse that might surprise you.

Misuse of prescription opioids

Also, about 53.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons were written by Florida doctors in 2018. That number was higher than the national average of 51.4 prescriptions.

The misuse of prescription opioids can lead to substance use disorder. Drug misuse refers to the use of substances or medications in a different way the medical provider prescribed or for a purpose inconsistent with medical guidelines.

Unfortunately, some people may start on painkillers after receiving a prescription from their doctor to help relieve chronic pain. Becoming addicted to these pills can occur over time, making it very difficult to taper back on them.

HIV and substance abuse in Florida

In 2017, 25.4 percent or 4,563 of all new HIV diagnoses were Florida residents. Of that group, 8.8 percent of female and 5.2 percent of male cases were linked to drug injections.

HIV infection is one of the most common complications of intravenous drug use. Sharing and reusing needles increases the chance of contracting HIV themselves and giving the infection to others.

Substance abuse in Florida and hepatitis infections

Also, 357 people reported new cases of acute hepatitis infection in Florida in 2017 (see link in the last sub-section). Furthermore, like HIV, hepatitis can be related to the indiscriminate use of needles among injecting drug users.

Gender and drug use

Lastly, the national ratio of men to women being admitted for substance use disorder is 2:1, as per the stats from 1995-2005. That same research analysis shows that women are less likely to enter treatment centers than men. Furthermore, upon entering into treatment, gender is not a factor in treatment completion or outcome, indicating a recent literature review.

Substance abuse in Florida has been a longstanding problem, but it is not without proper help. With the right treatment programs and a supportive rehab environment, treatment for substance use disorder is definitely possible.

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