Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Sarasota, Florida
Located on the Western shore of the state, nestled in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota is a popular tourist destination. Less publicized is the dark underbelly of the city; substance abuse and addiction that claim the lives of many.
Fortunately, there are a multitude of treatment options nearby or in surrounding areas that provide both inpatient and outpatient services in order to assist you or a loved one reclaim your life.
The Opioid Epidemic In Southern Florida
Many people in Sarasota are struggling with addiction to Heroin and other Opioids. Just in the first 6 months of 2020, 29 Opioid-caused fatalities were recorded, more than doubling the 13 cases from all of 2019. In previous years, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, and other prescription Opioids such as Hydrocodone, and Morphine have claimed the lives of many. The Sarasota Police Department has warned residents that drug traffickers have started to sell Fentanyl, a deadly synthetic Opioid that is 50 times stronger than Morphine, disguised as other drugs in order to increase their profits.
Sarasota is also seeing an increase in the use of Heroin, a highly dangerous and addictive drug. Many people who become addicted to heroin first started abusing prescription Opioids before eventually seeking out Heroin. In 2016, Heroin caused 32 deaths in Sarasota. One Sarasota resident who counsels people trying to overcome addiction to Heroin has called the drug an “equal opportunity offender,” since it is so pervasive and affects so many different communities in the city.
Sarasota And Benzodiazepine Abuse
Addiction to Benzodiazepines is also a serious problem in Sarasota. In 2016, 65 people in Sarasota died from overdosing on Alprazolam (Xanax), and 26 died from overdosing on Diazepam (Valium). The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has advised people to call 911 if they or someone they know is suffering from the effects of an Opioid or Benzodiazepine overdose.
Binge Drinking: A Major Cause For Concern
As a popular tourist destination, Sarasota offers residents and visitors a vast array of restaurants, bars, and liquor stores. Unfortunately, binge drinking (more than 5 drinks for men and more than 4 for women in a 2 hour period) has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. In fact, the Sarasota County government determined in 2015 that rates of binge drinking were growing across all demographics. Binge drinking can disrupt a person’s life and result in alcohol addiction. In Sarasota, young residents and those with higher salaries are especially likely to engage in binge drinking. The prevalence of heavy drinking in Sarasota is also causing an increase in the number of traffic accidents involving alcohol. There were 407 car crashes in Sarasota in 2014 involving at least one drunk driver, compared to 360 alcohol-induced accidents the previous year.
Break free from addiction.
You have options. Talk about them with a treatment provider today.
Find Addiction Help Today
Whether you’re struggling with an addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, or illegal drugs, there are rehab centers available in Sarasota and throughout Florida where you or your loved one can get detox and therapy, recover from addiction, and begin to live a better life. If you’re ready to fight addiction, contact a treatment provider today for more information on your next steps.
Cooper Smith earned his Bachelor’s in Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University. While he was initially interested in a career in television, he saw an issue in his community and felt compelled to do something more. Now, he uses his knowledge to reach out to people who may need help and make the public aware of issues we are facing as a society. When he isn’t behind a computer, Cooper travels somewhere new.
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- Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County. (2015). 2015 Community Health Assessment. Retrieved on October 10, 2018, at http://sarasota.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/community-health-planning-and-statistics/_documents/cha-2015-final-report.pdf
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement. (2016). Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Medical Examiners. Retrieved on October 5, 2018, at https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MEC/Publications-and-Forms/Documents/Drugs-in-Deceased-Persons/2016-Annual-Drug-Report.aspx
- Levey-Baker, Cooper. (2016). Binge Drinking is Up in Sarasota County. Why? Sarasota Magazine. Retrieved on October 10, 2018, at https://www.sarasotamagazine.com/articles/2016/5/2/binge-drinking-sarasota-county
- Lonon, Sherri. (2016). 44 Heroin, Drug-Related Overdoses in Sarasota Prompt Plea. Sarasota Patch. Retrieved on October 5, 2018, at https://patch.com/florida/sarasota/44-heroin-drug-related-overdoses-sarasota-prompt-plea
- Rogers, John. (2017). Video Report 8 Investigates: Sarasota, a haven of culture, prosperity…. and heroin overdoses – WFLA. Retrieved on July 1, 2019 from https://www.wfla.com/news/8-investigates-sarasota-a-haven-of-culture-prosperity-and-heroin-overdoses/994396789/
- Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. Drugs/Addiction. Retrieved on October 5, 2018, at http://www.sarasotasheriff.org/programs_and_amp_services/crime_prevention/drugs_addiction.php
- Vern Buchanan Representing Florida. (2020). Opioid Deaths Explode in Sarasota County. Retrieved on December 27, 2021 from: https://buchanan.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/opioid-deaths-explode-sarasota-county