Opioid-Related Deaths In Panama City, Florida
Nationally, tens of thousands of people are dying every year due to abusing opioids, and Panama City, Florida, is one of the hardest hit locations. Fentanyl and heroin abuse resulting in drug overdoses has been the greatest cause of concern among local officials. Called “the opioid epidemic” by many, the numbers of fatal and non-fatal overdoses increase on a daily basis.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin, is especially concerning because many users do not know that it has been mixed with another drug. In 2016, there were 17 deaths as a result of fentanyl and fentanyl combinations in Bay County, in addition to over 500 calls by the Bay County EMS that required the use of Narcan. In the first half of 2017, Panama City there were 6 fentanyl-related deaths; half of those involved another drug combined with fentanyl.
Prescription Opioid Overdoses In Panama City
Panama City has struggled with prescription opioid abuse, at even greater rates than most of the rest of the nation. Drugs like hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), codeine, and morphine are widely used for medical and non-medical reasons. Prescription opioid overdoses in Panama City in the first half of 2017 resulted in a number of deaths; some of which included the presence of other drugs.
- 12 Oxycodone deaths (combined with another drug)
- 11 Hydrocodone deaths (combined with another drug)
- 2 Methadone deaths (combined with another drug)
- 12 Morphine deaths (combined with another drug)
Panama City’s prescription opioid problems are just a small portion of the much larger problem facing the state as a whole. The state of Florida saw a “22% increase in drug-related deaths between 2015 and 2016.” Out of these unfortunate deaths oxycodone caused 723 deaths and hydrocodone caused 245 deaths.
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Benzodiazepine Abuse In Panama City
Alprazolam or Xanax, a type of benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and insomnia disorders, is very commonly abused in Panama City. Currently, Xanax is the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the U.S. Used for its ability to calm the individual, it is highly addictive and can be snorted, injected, taken orally, or combined with other drugs or alcohol. Risks of dependence are high, and overdoses are higher if combined with other drugs.This drug has also found its way into the bodies of teens and adults alike. 51 Panama City overdose victims in 2016 were found to have Xanax in their bodies; out of those, 23 overdosed from Xanax specifically.
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Consider Staging An Intervention
Seeing a loved one struggle with balancing work and substance abuse disorders, experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms, borrowing too much money too frequently, having health issues, or transforming into someone you don’t know can be extremely difficult to deal with. If you know someone struggling with a substance abuse disorder in Panama City, consider staging an intervention. Family members want to see their loved ones battling the pain of addiction and may find holding an intervention is the key to keeping the connection alive. Those with chemical dependencies can express their experiences with substance abuse, and possibly discovering how drug or alcohol is the preference. They can also plan for recovery early on, while having someone hold them responsible for their progress. Family members or trusted friends can help those needing intervention by:
- Contacting an intervention specialist
- Forming the intervention group
- Preparing for the intervention (Writing questions/concerns, know what to discuss)
- Finding the right place
- Being ready for unpredictability
Take Control Of Your Life
Taking control of addiction can begin with a simple call. Contacting a treatment provider can encourage a means to overcome destructive dependencies on harmful chemicals. There are treatment options available nearby. To explore your options, talk to a treatment provider today.