Addiction In St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg is a Florida city located on the Gulf of Mexico and is categorized as being part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Situated in the Tampa Bay region, St. Petersburg is home to pristine beaches and an increasingly severe behavioral health problem. St. Petersburg has the 6thhighest rate of violent crime in the state of Florida and ranks highly for substance abuse as well.
Alcohol Abuse In St. Petersburg
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in St. Petersburg. In 2017, 20% of adult drinkers reported as having engaged in excessive drinking. Adults are not the only at-risk age group in St. Petersburg, however, as 60.4% of Pinellas County (where St. Petersburg is located) high school students have used alcohol or illicit drugs and 25.8% of Pinellas County middle school students have used alcohol or illicit drugs. According to the SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health in the MSA area, 23.2% of persons aged 12 or older participated in binge drinking in the past month. Binge drinking, when a man consumes 5 or more drinks or a woman consumes 4 or more drinks over the course of 2 hours, is particularly dangerous as it can lead to alcohol poisoning and a developing dependency. The number of reported adult binge drinkers in St. Petersburg has been higher than the state average for the past 9 years, indicating a very present and growing problem.
Opioid Abuse In St. Petersburg
The epidemic of prescription drug abuse has impacted cities across the United States, and St. Petersburg is no different. Nonmedical opioid use is an alarming issue in St. Pete; in 2015, Pinellas County reported 179 accidental drug-related deaths, with 55% of those deaths related to opioid prescription drugs. Opioids are a classification of drugs that are derived from, or a synthetic version of, opium. Many prescribed pain management medications are opioids, making them easily accessible and also extremely addictive.
Common opioids include:
Teens are the most at-risk age group for opioid abuse in St. Petersburg. Opioids are particularly easy for youth to abuse as many find their supply within their own homes – in their parents’, grandparents’, and siblings’ medicine cabinets. Additionally, methadone is becoming one of the most popular opioids dealt on the streets of St. Petersburg.
To fight against the growing opioid epidemic spreading throughout the city, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners enacted a moratorium on any new pain management clinics in 2018, restricting clinics’ ability to write drug prescriptions until they can be fully researched and show proof of proper permits. The local Sheriff’s Office joined the fight against opioid abuse by founding Operation Medicine Cabinet, a service that provides the public with a safe way to dispose of unused prescription medicines. Despite these great resources, both the number of deaths where Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogs were present and the number of deaths where Heroin was present are increasing.
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Mental Health And Substance Abuse
Mental health is a major concern for the public of St. Petersburg, Florida. Both the suicide rate and depressive disorder rate are currently higher in Pinellas county than the rest of the state. The 2017 Community Mental Health Survey results displayed that many Pinellas County residents are stressed and/or are without a confidant to confide in, which can encourage substance abuse.
Addiction Treatment In St. Petersburg
There are countless addiction and rehabilitation resources available in the St. Petersburg area, but seeking help nay seem intimidating. There are a variety of programs, including inpatient and outpatient care, therapies, and sober living homes that you may choose from to help fight the battle of addiction. Contact a provider today to discuss available treatment options.