Deerfield Beach is a city fewer than 17 square miles located on the north end of Broward County. Despite its slower pace, it fits in with other communities in the bustling Miami Metropolitan Area. To its north is Boca Raton in Palm Beach County, which young professionals, retirees, and snowbirds call home, and to its south is vibrant nightlife in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, which attracts people from all over the world.
Deerfield’s fishing pier and beachside access year-round gives locals more places to hang out. The city is proud that its beach was named a “Blue Wave” beach. The Clean Beach Council awarded the designation to the city, giving it high marks for its water quality, beach conditions, habitat conservation, and other services.
Despite its quiet vibe, don’t let appearances fool you. Deerfield Beach wrestles with substance addiction and overdose deaths like many communities across South Florida. Preventative measures are needed for various reasons, including that the area’s prime spot near the Atlantic Ocean means the opportunity is always there for drug traffickers to move illegal, addictive substances into the country to keep users hooked on their product.
As with much of South Florida, drugs and alcohol have affected communities in Deerfield Beach, making rehabilitation services for substance use necessary. Some people who abuse drugs and alcohol will need these services as they work to put their addiction behind them. Read on to learn more about essential drug rehab services in the Broward County area.
The opioid crisis that is widespread across the U.S. has also touched down in Broward County, where authorities say it has hit the area hard. Heroin use remains on the radar, as the substance has led to overdoses that sent locals to the emergency room. According to a WLRN report, 85% of the overdose cases treated in the ER were heroin-related. Most of those who did make it in time to receive emergency care did survive their overdoses. However, this will not happen to everyone.
Synthetic opioid drugs, such as the dangerous and deadly fentanyl and its analogs, are also leading to people either overdosing or dying. This potent substance ends up in drug combinations that dealers sell to people who are not aware that the drug is in the mix. Street fentanyl is illegal, and it is added to different drugs to make them more appealing to those who dare try them. Making the product more potent also makes the product last longer and fattens the dealer’s pockets.
In 2016, nearly 200 people died in Broward County after overdosing on a deadly mix involving fentanyl, according to an article the Sun-Sentinel published in 2017.
Florida’s opioid overdose rates have gotten the attention of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The federal agency notes that the state’s opioid overdose rates surpass the national average. Data show that about 14.4 people per 100,000 Florida residents died from an opioid overdose when 13.3 people per 100,000 people did nationally in 2016, the agency reports.
The Broward County Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Service created a map in 2017 to show how many deaths had occurred in the county that year and the kinds of drugs involved. Heroin and heroin-fentanyl mixes were among the top drugs of concern in the Deerfield Beach area that year. According to a 2016 report from the United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse, other substances of use include:
As noted above, alcohol and marijuana are also drugs that turn up regularly among substance users in Broward County. Marijuana, a key drug of choice, is popular among teenage users. According to county data, at least 90% of people under age 18 in Broward entered treatment to address their pot addiction in 2016. This aligns with data in the 2019 Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey Report, which says that in Florida, nearly 20% of teens reported current use of marijuana.
Alcohol use is also prevalent among Broward County residents. The United Way substance abuse trends report found that a third of Broward adults who sought treatment in 2015 did so for alcohol addiction, making it No. 1 among the substances people go to treatment to address. Seventy-five percent of those adults were over age 34.
Pairing alcohol with drugs is a common practice among people who use substances. This is another reason why alcohol is mentioned more often than other drugs. Using alcohol with any drug is risky, but it is especially problematic to combine alcohol, a depressant, with stimulants like cocaine or other depressant medications, such as benzodiazepines.
Drugs can enhance one another’s effects when combined, so it’s quite easy to drink alcohol and not realize you’re drinking too much because another substance has made you lose track, raising the risk of having alcohol poisoning or breathing that dangerously slows down or stops altogether, putting one at risk of a deadly overdose.
Florida draws people from all over the world who think the state is the paradise they need to help them recover from substance abuse. Many facilities in the Sunshine State can help people who want to end substance addiction, so the key is to take time to do the research to make sure they join the right one.
Florida is just like everywhere else when it comes to addressing the threat of opioid abuse. At one time, the state was home to “pill mills” that helped increase the use of deadly opioid drugs in the early 2000s. Florida has since taken a stand and implemented measures to fight back against opioid abuse. Places like Deerfield Beach can benefit from these changes.
The state started its E-FORCSE prescription drug monitoring program two years ago that keeps a close eye on how many opioid prescriptions doctors can write. The state aims to monitor who’s doing what with these drugs to help curb opioid addiction.
Addiction usually does not go away on its own, so it’s wise to treat it as soon as it is detected. The medical community views severe substance use as a chronic illness that rewires the brain to prioritize substance use over all else. This rewiring makes it nearly impossible to focus on other things; getting and using drugs becomes the only thing that matters.
Treating a severe dependence on drugs and alcohol takes considerable time. Treatment at a licensed rehab facility that employs knowledgeable and compassionate staff helps ensure that people who abuse substances take key steps toward their recovery.
Personalized addiction treatment is best. Addiction affects people differently, so treatment has to look different, too. It is important to address the specific issues that the person needs to work through on their own. Treatment is designed to meet people where they are on the continuum of care.
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Depending on what your situation is, you may start with a medical detox process before moving into a longer-term program, such as residential treatment. Or, you might be placed in a less restricted program that offers intensive therapy and counseling several days a week.
Expect to complete a thorough assessment of your needs before addiction care specialists place you in a setting that supports your brave decision to end your substance abuse once and for all. You are encouraged to stay in treatment as long as you need it to ensure that it works for you.
City of Deerfield Beach. Beach Home. Retrieved from https://www.deerfield-beach.com/17/Beach
WLRN. (August 2018). Heroin Overdoses in Broward County Remain at Record Levels. Retrieved from http://www.wlrn.org/post/heroin-overdoses-broward-remain-record-levels
Sun Sentinel. (October 2017). Fentanyl Fuels Rise in Drug Deaths in South Florida. Retrieved from http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-reg-overdose-death-report-20171016-story.html
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (February 2018). Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/florida-opioid-summary
Broward County Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services. Drug Overdose Locations 2016. Retrieved from http://bcgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=0471c198475844cb9e27002ab140c47c
United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse. (June 2016). Drug Abuse Trends in Broward County, Florida Annual Report: June 2016. Retrieved from https://www.overdosepreventionstrategies.org/app/uploads/2015/03/2016-Broward-Substance-Abuse-Trends-Report.pdf
(n.d.). Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey Report. Retrieved from https://floridahealthstory.org/stories/yrbs_2019/index.html?utm_source=floridahealth.gov
E-FORCSE Home Page. Retrieved from http://www.floridahealth.gov/statistics-and-data/e-forcse/index.html