Drug Abuse in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Broward County, home to Fort Lauderdale, Florida suffers from high rates of drug abuse, ranging from methamphetamine use to prescribed opioids for pain. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug by people younger than 18 years of age. Abuse of substances like methamphetamines have increased by 148% from previous years across the state. In particular, benzodiazepines have been increasingly abused in recent years.
Opioid Abuse and Fort Lauderdale
Soaring drug overdose rates are impacting the lives of many Fort Lauderdale residents daily. Most lives are lost to drug use is due to prescription and synthetic opioids. Illicit opioids like heroin and fentanyl in particular are widely abused, with cases of carfentanil on the rise.
Opioid abuse is common in many drug-related overdoses, often involving heroin, fentanyl or prescription opioid abuse. Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is often found in Broward county overdoses. In addition, fake Xanax pills and heroin are found to contribute to drug-related overdoses.
Carfentanil, perhaps the most dangerous opioid, is a highly potent elephant tranquilizer that is finding its way into batches of cocaine without the user’s knowledge. As a result, people are becoming addicted at alarming rates, and putting themselves at much greater risk of death. Almost all recent cases of opioid-related fatal and non-fatal overdose in Fort Lauderdale involve heroin or fentanyl. Fentanyl overdoses dramatically increased from 197 deaths to 1,976 deaths in a 10-year timeframe.
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Opioid Abuse Risk Factors
Opioid abuse disorders can impact any individual, but certain individuals are most likely to struggle with opioids. According to SAMHSA, there are specific risk factors individuals experiencing an opioid use disorder face. These traits include, but are not limited to:
- Emotional, spiritual, sexual, or mental trauma
- Genetics/family history of opioid abuse
- Living in rural or urban areas
- Low income
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- A history of prescription opioid use
- Having a single status
- Being part of the LGBTQ community
- Being 45-54 years of age
- Being 18-25 years of age
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Cocaine Abuse in Fort Lauderdale
Broward County, like Miami-Dade County struggles with cocaine abuse. Miami-Dade County became an epicenter for cocaine during the 80s, although this has slowly tapered off throughout the years. Despite this decrease, rates of cocaine abuse and cocaine-related overdoses are still high, and frequently make news headlines. Recently, the police seized 6 tons of cocaine worth $179 million in the Fort Lauderdale area. Fort Lauderdale reported of 275 cocaine-related deaths in the area in 2016 alone.
An increasing number of people are combining cocaine with other illicit chemicals, a practice known as polydrug use. This increases their risk of overdose as lethal drug combinations often affect the individual more severely. Furthermore, other cocaine users also face risk of snorting contaminated cocaine, creating higher overdose rates.
Recent cocaine-related deaths have increased from 2013 to 2018 with the rise of opioid abuse. 1,105 individuals in Broward County overdosed due to cocaine in 2001, steadily rising to 2,228 deaths in the second half of 2016. There was a 21% increase in cocaine deaths between 2015 and 2016 alone. Additionally, these numbers included adolescent overdoses, with 7 cocaine deaths for people under 18 years of age in 2016.
Ready to End the Cycle of Abuse?
Substance abuse can occur for many reasons, but it does not have to be a life sentence. Contact a treatment provider to discover the best facilities for your treatment needs. People struggling with substance abuse may have underlying, unhealed trauma they may not be aware of. Facilities offering services like counseling may benefit a particular individual while another treatment like equine therapy may be more fitting for another. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Contact a provider today, and change your life.