Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida, sits in the center of some of the nation’s busiest drug trafficking routes, and drugs are easier and less expensive to obtain there than in many other locations. Additionally, the city is one of the global leaders in tourism; a large percentage of residents are only in the city for a comparatively short time.
The city also has a reputation for being a major party destination. Orlando is also home to one of the world’s largest institutes of higher education, the University of Central Florida. These factors combine to create significant substance abuse and addiction problems in the city. Fortunately, however, many rehabs in the area can treat those looking to overcome addiction.
The Opioid Epidemic In Orlando
Heroin is widely abused across Florida and has been the 5th leading cause of drug-related fatalities in the state. In a 24-hour period, there were 11 reported overdoses in a single Orlando apartment complex known as Blossom Park.
Orange and Osceola counties, where Orlando is located, have ranked in the top 8 counties in the entire state of Florida for Heroin deaths. Orange county leaders are fighting the Opioid crisis by making Narcan, the drug used to revive people who have overdosed on Opioids, more readily available.
Fentanyl poses another concern for Orlando residents. Despite the dangers posed by illicit Opioids like Heroin, Morphine and other prescription Opioids have historically actually killed more Orlando residents than street drugs.
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Orange Blossom Trail
Orange Blossom Trail, one of the Orlando neighborhoods most notorious for drug abuse, boasts a very high percentage of the city’s drug overdoses. Overdoses here are common; 150 people overdosed in 2018. Many of Orlando’s natives who have substance use disorders frequent this side of town to meet their drug needs. This area is also known for its sex workers, many of whom are women who struggle with substance use disorders.
Women And Addiction In Orlando
Women who take drugs, such as Cocaine or Opioids, may face unique gender-based and biological challenges. When buying drugs from dangerous Orlando neighborhoods, for example, women face an increased risk of being the victim of physical and sexual violence.
Women struggling with drugs and alcohol can become exposed to people who can force them into sex work, as Orlando has ranked number 3 in the US for human trafficking. Sex workers are often addicted to drugs and further exploited sexually, physically, psychologically, and emotionally as a result.
Expectant Mothers And Drug Addiction In Orlando
Other unique risks for women struggling with substance use disorders include biological challenges. Pregnant women who abuse Heroin, alcohol, Cocaine, prescription drugs, and other drugs run the risk of giving birth to infants with drug addictions.
Newborns with addictions can experience:
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Birth defects
- Learning disabilities
On occasion, children may be placed in protective custody while their mother is treated for addiction. In many hospitals, some are given the drug they are addicted to and then weaned from it so that they can live a normal life. Infants have been treated for addictions but maintained learning disabilities, co-occurring disorders, and birth defects. Statewide attempts are being made to reduce infants born dependent on drugs.
Orlando Options For Drug And Alcohol Addiction
In response to the number of overdoses, treatment facilities are available to help people with substance use disorders recover. Going “cold turkey,” or conducting at-home detox, is not recommended; symptoms can be uncomfortable and even fatal. Withdrawal symptoms for many drugs include:
- Increased blood pressure
Patients can choose to heal on campus in rehab facilities, where they have access to professionals who assist them with medically supervised detox. At inpatient facilities, patients have access to support groups, medication, and holistic therapies for mind and body healing. Patients wanting to balance personal commitment and recovery can opt for outpatient rehab, which provides medication and support groups for patients who continue living at home.
Get Help Today
If you or a loved one is battling addiction, there is hope. If you or your loved one also must face the challenges of a dangerous living situation and/or a co-occurring mental health condition, this does not have to be an obstacle to seeking treatment. If anything, care providers may be able to impart coping strategies that can help. For more information, contact a treatment provider today.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
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- Ray, Karla. (2018). Orange County to Hand Out Narcan in Holden Heights in Effort to Prevent Heroin Overdoses. Retrieved on April 13, 2018 at https://www.wftv.com/news/local/orange-county-to-hand-out-narcan-in-holden-heights/698649616
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- Ocasio, Bianca Padro. (2017). FDLE Report Shows “Shocking” Number of Drug-Related Deaths in Florida. Retrieved on April 13, 2018 at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/addiction-recovery/os-drug-deaths-medical-examiners-20171115-story.html
- Medel, Shana. (2017). Orange County Beginning 2017 with Marked Rise in Heroin Overdoses. Retrieved on April 13, 2018 at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-orange-county-heroin-overdoses-20170303-story.html