Tamarac, an idyllic Fort Lauderdale suburb, is considered one of the best places to live in Florida, and with good reason. Tamarac is a haven for retirees, young families, and big-city ex-pats who relish its small-town feel, lush parks, expansive golf courses, and relaxed environs. Still, this charming small city of more than 65,000 people has not remained immune to the scourge of addiction that has ravaged the region.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported that there were 4,698 drug overdose deaths in Florida in 2018, and around 68 percent died from an opioid-related overdose.
Broward County, the home seat of Tamarac, saw 1,642 opioid overdoses treated in emergency rooms, with 85 percent of those cases involving heroin. What’s more, the number of heroin-related deaths in Broward spiked from five in 2010 to 144 in 2016, which is a 2,780 percent increase, according to the 2016 Florida Medical Examiner Interim Report.
Reports, however, indicate that drug deaths in Florida decreased in the first half of 2018. Still, the overdose epidemic persists, which calls for safe and effective treatment solutions. Drug rehab can be a solution.
South Florida, where Tamarac is located, has a long history with opioids and synthetic opioids. Prescription opioids, fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine were the most commonly abused drugs in the state. Additionally, these drugs were on the top of the list in causing drug overdose fatalities.
The Florida Medical Examiners 2018 Annual Report on The Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons indicated that the drugs that caused the most deaths were fentanyl, cocaine, benzodiazepines, morphine, fentanyl analogs, ethyl alcohol, and heroin.
The United Way of Broward County has released annual statistics showing drug and alcohol use has increased in the region.
The report states that alcohol is widely used in areas like Tamarac. Other data showed that 50 percent of the drug overdose deaths in Broward County involved alcohol. Also, alcohol was involved in 75 percent of drug overdoses in people over 34 years old.
Opioid abuse is an ongoing problem in South Florida. Fentanyl is also a significant drug issue in areas such as Tamarac and South Florida overall. As Tamarac is close to the Ports of Fort Lauderdale and Miami, as well as international, small and private airports, the city lies within the drug distribution zone.
Drug rehab in South Florida started when people who believed they conquered their addictions wanted to pass on their just-learned knowledge to others. Their model, known as “The Florida Model,” resulted in an influx of people with drug addiction coming into the state and created a significant increase in the number of facilities. Treatment centers near Tamarac are fully accredited and top-ranked by people who have received treatment in them.
Addiction is a chronic brain disease marked by compulsive drug use while experiencing adverse
consequences, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Addiction wreaks havoc on the physical, psychological, and social areas of a person’s life. Drug rehab should address the number of ways addiction disrupts a person’s life.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, May 22). Florida Opioid Summary. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/florida-opioid-summary
WLRN. (2018, August 30) Heroin Overdoses In Broward Remain At Record Levels. Switalski, C. from https://www.wlrn.org/post/heroin-overdoses-broward-remain-record-levels
WUSF. (2019, July 11) Drug Deaths In Florida Down In First Half Of 2018. Sexton, C. from https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/drug-deaths-florida-down-first-half-2018
The Opioid Epidemic In Broward County [PDF File]. (2017, August 24). Fort Lauderdale, FL: United Way of Broward County Commission on Behavioral Health and Drug Prevention (UWBCCBH). from https://www.drugfreebroward.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/The-Opioid-Epidemic-in-Broward-County.pdf
Florida Department of Law Enforcement. (2019 November) Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Medical Examiners. 2018 Annual Report. from https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MEC/Publications-and-Forms/Documents/Drugs-in-Deceased-Persons/2018-Annual-Drug-Report.aspx
United Way of Broward County. (n.d.) Drug Abuse Trends in Broward County, Florida. from https://www.unitedwaybroward.org/sites/default/files/images/Commission%20on%20Behavioral%20Health%20%26%20Drug%20Prevention/Prevention%20Resource%20Center/June-2017-Broward-Substance-Abuse-Trends-Report.pdf
American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.). from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction