Florida’s opioid death count is on the rise. Since 2015, at least 225 deaths have been directly linked to opioids in Broward county alone. Related hospital costs have spiked to over $1 billion, and the numbers keep growing, according to the Florida Behavioral Health Association (FADAA).
Drug rehab in Florida can help break these trends and ultimately save lives. Unfortunately, response by the state and insurance providers have been mixed. Government funding remains sluggish and money that could help more people get treatment is diverted to law enforcement. Experts in addiction treatment urge communities and leaders to get involved.
What Is Behind the Sharp Increase in Opioid Addictions and Deaths?
Since the 1990s, opioid overdoses have quadrupled, according to Tampa Bay Creative Loafing (TBCL). That timeframe aligns with a drug market heyday when pharmaceutical companies offered attractive benefits for doctors, and doctors wrote painkiller prescriptions with much more abandon than they do now.
According to FADAA, people who are addicted to prescription painkillers are 40 times more likely to also be addicted to heroin. Some 2,538 people lost their lives in 2015 to prescription painkillers, heroin, or the toxic cocktail of both. Fentanyl deaths are also on the rise, with 911 lives lost in 2014.
People with Addictions Can Fall Through Cracks in the Healthcare System
Some of the people with the greatest health care need have the least access to it. That is one of the biggest sources of frustration among addicts, former addicts, healthcare providers, and activists. TBCL suggests that Florida Governor Rick Scott could do much better. Scott acknowledged the epidemic but stalled on declaring a state of emergency, which kept a $27 million “opioid response grant” just out of reach. Medicaid funding has been sluggish, as well.
Meanwhile, at the federal level, budgetary cuts have barred access to drug rehab in Florida. Leaders have shifted focus toward drug crime prosecution and away from addiction treatment, says TBCL. They explain that “money spent on manhunts and handcuffs eats into funding for behavioral and medical addiction treatment that could be life-saving.” Add in the fact that some insurance companies restrict access to treatment, such as residential care, and the climate is more crime and punishment than treatment and recovery.
Opioid Addiction Recovery in Florida Can Turn the Tide and Save Lives
Drug rehab in Florida is the key to saving lives of opioid addicts. It is that simple. Medically assisted detox helps control withdrawal symptoms in a safe environment. Carefully curated treatment programs that are designed for each person give addicts the care that they need for as long as they need it.
Here is just a sampling of what a recovery center can do:
- Residential care
- Partial hospitalization
- Alternative therapies
- Nutritional support
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Outpatient care
- Group sessions
- Co-occurring disorder treatment
- Transition back into the community
Opioid addiction poses one of the greatest threats to the health and safety of Florida residents. Breaking the cycle of addiction takes so much more than a press conference or even a simple decision. It requires the help and guidance of caring professionals who understand addiction and the unique challenges addicts face throughout a lifetime of recovery.
One life lost in Florida per day is one too many; ten per day is an epidemic. If you or someone you love is in the grips of an opioid addiction,
contact us to learn more about treatment options and admissions to a life-saving program.