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Opioid Treatment in Broward County

Broward County lies between Palm Beach and Miami-Dade County, putting it at the center of a large metropolitan area on Florida’s southeast coast. All over the country, highly populated areas with large seaports are often targeted by international drug trafficking. Opioids have caused increased overdose deaths and substance use issues all over the country. 

Opioid use disorder can lead to significant public health issues and serious medical, financial, and social issues for individuals. Learn more about the need for opioid treatment in Broward County. 

How Opioid Addiction Is Affecting Broward County 

Opioid addiction is hurting communities by affecting the health of individuals and increasing economic burdens. Opioids are extremely addictive when misused or used, or used for too long. Chronic misuse of these drugs can lead to serious health issues, social problems, and financial instability. It also contributes to job loss, chronic health problems, and homelessness. 

In Florida, there were 3,189 fatal opioid overdoses in 2018, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Many of those cases involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Fentanyl is extremely potent, and it’s often mixed into other drugs to improve their perceived quality. However, mixing in fentanyl can make the drug too potent, leading to a fatal overdose. There were 2,091 overdose deaths that involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Broward County Substance Abuse Statistics

Between 2012 and 2014, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 52,601 Broward County residents reported nonmedical use of opioids. Since then, the use of opioids in the U.S. has increased. In 2017, deaths involving nonmedical use of prescription opioids rose for the first time since declining in 2013. 

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl that are found in Broward often come from illegal, foreign laboratories, and they continue to influence the spike in opioid overdose deaths. In Fort Lauderdale in 2018, there were 287 deaths where fentanyl was found to be involved. 

Fentanyl is often mixed into heroin and other drugs such as cocaine. Only 23 of those 287 cases involved fentanyl with no other drug. Polydrug use is common in South Florida, and the United Way of Broward reported that the vast majority of heroin-related deaths also involved other drugs.

Opioid Withdrawal and Treatment

Treatment for opioid addiction is a personalized process that addresses opioid use problems and any medical or psychological problems that might be related to it. Treatment can involve multiple levels of care, depending on your needs. If you have high-level medical needs when you first enter treatment, you might go through a detox program. 

Medical detox helps you through the drug withdrawal period after drug use is stopped. Opioid withdrawal can cause extremely uncomfortable flu-like symptoms, but it’s usually not life-threatening. Still, some people may need to complete a detox program with medical professionals before moving forward in a treatment program.

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A recovery program also involves other levels of care after detox, including inpatient and outpatient services. Through treatment, you may go through individual, group, or family therapies. You may also go through behavioral therapy and other psychotherapy to help you manage drug cravings and address any underlying mental health issues.  

Sources

American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, April 03). Florida: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/florida-opioid-summary

NDEWS Coordinating Center. (2017, November). Southeastern Florida (Miami Area) Sentinel Community Site … Retrieved from https://ndews.umd.edu/sites/ndews.umd.edu/files/florida-scs-drug-use-patterns-and-trends-2017-final.pdf

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

United Way of Broward County. (2018). Broward County Opioid Action Plan. Retrieved from https://www.unitedwaybroward.org/prevention-resource-center

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