Florida Drug and Treatment Facts

The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, declared the Opioid Epidemic a state emergency in 2017. This move allocated $54 million of federal Health and Human Services funding to combat the growing use, overdose rate, and trafficking of illicit opioid drugs, such as heroin, synthetic fentanyl, and illegally obtained prescription painkillers. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) statistics, Florida had 4,728 overdose deaths in 2016. And nationwide, there was a five-fold increase in overdose deaths from 1999 to 2016.

This increase is due to a seemingly free flow of prescription opiates and an increase in drug cartel trafficking of heroin and fentanyl. Although this problem is not specific or unique to Florida, in the early 2000s lax regulations created an environment where so-called “pill mills,” fraudulent doctor’s offices that over-prescribed pain medication, could flourish. Many people begin using prescription opiates but switch to heroin because it is easier to attain and cheaper to purchase.

The fact is Florida drug abuse statistics are some of the most severe in the country. Paradoxically, Florida has also become an important destination for addicts seeking substance abuse treatment. Our southernmost state has become a battleground of recovery and relapse. Residents and locals are distraught. Legislature is frantically searching for a solution. And every day more and more get on a plane to fly to Florida for treatment. Some of them go on to live wholesome and successful sober lives while many others get caught in the vicious cycle of relapse.


Drug and Alcohol Abuse Statistics


Drug and Alcohol Abuse statistics are difficult to calculate, skewed in one way or another, and will always have a wide margin of error. However, they are indicative of the trends that the country and surveyed populations participate in. But in 2014, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducted a study on differing drug and alcohol, as well as mental health, trends. Some noteworthy results follow from this national survey:

In 2014,

  • 1 in 5 adults over 18 suffered from a mental illness
  • 21.5 million people over 12 participated in illegal drug use
  • 3.3% of adults struggled with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorder

A startling financial figure from the study claims that substance abuse, including alcohol and the misuse of prescription medication, is responsible for $600 billion dollars of medical costs and expenses alone. The figure would surely increase substantially if destruction of property, legal consequences, and underperforming employment was included.


Although these figures can be discouraging and disheartening. Addicts recover from their addictions every day. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an uncommon occurrence for an addict to get clean and sober, pursue a better life, and make their community a better place.


Treatment Statistics in Florida


A report from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program cites that 24,000 people sought treatment between 2015 and 2016.  A link to a listing of every licensed substance abuse treatment provider in Florida is staggering. There are hundreds of different providers of different services and levels of care. Many of these facilities are quality, ethical, and provide the best care available. But there are a plethora of horror stories about dishonest providers. The most important part of the treatment admissions process is doing the research and making an informed, educated decision on the best location to enter into treatment. Some tips on how to identify the right treatment center for you or your loved one can be found here. (Hyperlink to 12 keys article)


12 Keys 12 Keys


12 Keys 12 Keys is one of the leading centers in the Florida Addiction treatment market. 12 Keys offers the full continuum of care, from inpatient Residential to Intensive Outpatient. Utilizing the latest evidence-based approaches to treating co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues, 12 Keys is prepared to work with a wide variety of clients and treat their specific and unique set of struggles. Regardless of your background, there is a place for you at 12 Keys 12 Keys. Call today for a free consultation.


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