Drug And Alcohol Addiction In West Palm Beach, Florida
The state of Florida has a complicated history with drug addiction. While the state has seen its fair share of tragedy from the current Opioid epidemic, it also become home to a great number of addiction recovery and rehabilitation centers. West Palm Beach is no exception.
Opioids In West Palm Beach
In 2014, 1,225 people in Palm Beach County sought treatment for a prescription Opioid addiction. This made it the second most reported addiction for people seeking recovery treatment, only after alcohol. However, despite attempts made by the government to fight the Opioid epidemic, deaths caused by Opioids have grown year over year. The Palm Beach County medical examiner determined that 143 people had died from Opioid use in 2012. That number grew to 569 deaths 4 years later, in 2016. That makes up nearly 76% of the total number of deaths caused by drugs and doesn’t include the additional 363 deaths where Opioids were present, but not the cause.
While prescription Opioid abuse is a problem in West Palm Beach, and across the country, the rise of Opioid analogs in West Palm is one of the most concerning. Particularly the use of Carfentanil, an Opioid so potent that it takes as little as a third of a milligram to overdose.
Carfentanil Use Growing In West Palm Beach
Carfentanil is a lethal synthetic Opioid that has been used more and more in recent years. Intended as a tranquilizer for elephants, Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than Morphine. There is no safe way to use it. Despite this, it has been involved in 85 deaths in Palm Beach County. Carfentanil-involved deaths even eclipsed the 83 deaths that involved Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 80 times stronger than Heroin.
While this could be due to people using it recreationally, it is more likely that dealers are using Carfentanil to cut with other drugs. Despite the new laws that charge the premeditated dealing of Fentanyl and Carfentanil as first-degree murder, dealers are still using it as cheap filler to cut their costs. This can be seen as a majority of the reported deaths also contained another substance or combination of substances in addition to the deadly Carfentanil.
The Contamination Of Heroin In West Palm Beach
In 2015, Heroin was the leading cause of death in 158 cases. That number accounts for 21% of the state of Florida’s Heroin-induced deaths.
In 2012, 143 people had died from the use of an Opioid.
By 2016, deaths from Opioid had grown nearly 4 times to 569.
In 2016, Carfentanil was found to be involved in 85 deaths.
Grey Death Has Come To West Palm Beach
In 2017, South Florida saw the first appearance of “Grey Death.” The concoction is as ominous as it sounds; a designer drug that mixes Heroin, Fentanyl, another designer drug called U-47700, and other Fentanyl analogs, it looks similar to concrete mix and gets its name from the lethal blend of Opioids it contains. Grey Death is no doubt part of the cause of the spike in Carfentanil- and Fentanyl-related deaths.
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Finding Help In West Palm Beach
Finding help with recovery in West Palm Beach is more important now than ever before. With the sheer amount of cross-contamination of substances with lethal substances, any dose could be someone’s last. If you or someone you love suffers from addiction and are worried that it has become a life or death situation, do not wait. Contact a treatment provider today. They can discuss available treatment options with you.
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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- Hitchcock, Olivia. (2018), Man Faces First-Degree Murder Charge in OD Death; First Under New State Law. Retrieved October 10th, 2018, from https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/local/breaking-man-indicted-murder-charge-boynton-man-overdose-death/IbbNhzu73TpIDk1BjRvHlJ/
- Palm Beach County Medical Examiner Office. (2017). 2016 End of Year Statistics. Retrieved on October 10th, 2018, from http://discover.pbcgov.org/medicalexaminer/Forms%20Statistics/2016_Year_End_Statistics.pdf#search=drug
- Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. (2017). South Florida Drug Trafficking. Retrieved on October 10th, 2018, from https://www.pbso.org/inside-pbso/law-enforcement/strategic-operations/narcotics-division/drug-trends/
- Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition. (2015). Drug Abuse Rends in Palm Beach County Florida: July 2015. Retrieved on October 10th, 2015, from https://www.pbcsac.org/Jul-2015-Palm-Beach-County-Report.pdf
- The Ronik-Radlauer Group, Inc. (2017). Opioid Crisis. Retrieved on October 10th, 2018, from http://discover.pbcgov.org/communityservices/humanservices/PDF/Flyers/Opioid%20Response%20Plan.pdf#search=drug%20deaths
- US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. (2018). 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment. Retrieved on December 27, 2021 from: https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2018-11/DIR-032-18%202018%20NDTA%20final%20low%20resolution.pdf