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Drug Addiction in Florida

Drug addiction in Florida is something that needs to be taken seriously both by addicts and treatment programs. Street drugs are commonly described as illegal drugs that individuals either abuse recreationally or might become addicted to over time. Drug abuse and addiction is something that needs to be looked at as a medical illness that can be treated. Drugs are commonly perceived as something that are illicit and that users should be punished, not necessarily helped. This can cause addicts to shy away from seeking out the help that they need to overcome addiction. Street drug addiction in Florida is something that needs to be better understood. Those who need care for rehabilitation need to be sought out and given awareness on their illness and guidance on seeking out help for treatment.


Drug Addiction in Florida: Statistics

One of the best ways for treatment programs and drug rehab centers to offer the best care is to understand statistics in Florida that relate to street drug abuse and addiction. While addiction may feel like a very personal problem to the individual experiencing this, there may be overall trends when it comes to at-risk demographics or common drugs that can be more addictive and dangerous than others.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) collects data relating to drug use, abuse, and consequences throughout the nation, as well as in the state of Florida. Within this report, it was found by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that in 2007 that 7.8% of individuals surveyed had used an illicit drug in the past month of reporting. This is inline with the national average of 8%. This shows how common drug abuse can be recreationally. This can lead individuals to minimize the dangers of drug abuse, and they may not even understand the risks associated with street drug use.

When it comes to drug-induced deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on deaths in Florida that were from a direct consequence of drug use in 2007. Almost 3,000 deaths were reported in the year, which actually exceeded the national average. This shows that more awareness on the dangers of drug abuse and addiction needs to be offered in Florida, as well as treatment before individuals fall into risky situations that can cost them their lives.
Commonly Abused Street Drugs 


While there are street drugs that may gain popularity or may be easier to access at some times more so than others, there are specific drugs that historically have been abused and can cause individuals to fall into addiction rapidly. Some of these drugs are cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.

Cocaine is a higher end street drug that can be more expensive to obtain, but can have just as dire consequences as other drugs. Known as a party drug, users might binge on this drug and might not necessarily become addicted. This can still cause seizures and heart attacks in users. Over time, the come down from cocaine can be so intense that users will try to maintain their high or use other drugs to help with withdrawal symptoms.


Heroin can be highly addictive, sometimes even after one use. Common ways of using heroin are through smoking or intravenously.Heroin is an opiate and has a euphoric effect on the user. This high is something that heroin users will try to replicate, having to use more and more each time. This causes a dependency rapidly. Heroin users oftentimes will make behavioral decisions that lead to illegal activity in order to obtain and use heroin regularly.

Meth is a drug that has been rising in use over the past 20 years. This drug can be similar to cocaine, but is one that is even more addictive and harder to overcome an addiction once this sets in. Those who become addicted to meth will forgo other responsibilities in their life, and can rapidly fall into an addiction that consumes them. This can break up families, cause job loss, and individuals will forgo self-care, focusing only on their drug use.

Regardless of the type of drug addiction one has, treatment must have a detox component to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Once an individual is physically dependent on a drug, withdrawal can be intense and can lead to complications if this isn’t done in a medically supervised environment. Medical detox can manage withdrawal symptoms, and provide medications and a place where detox can be as comfortable as possible for withdrawal to take place.


Drug Treatment Options

Treatment for street drugs is something that needs to involve outreach and many times the help of an addict’s family and loved ones. If an individual has severed ties with their family, they may be living with other addicts and have surrounded themselves with other users and possible illegal activities. If an addict has gotten in trouble with the law, they might be apprehensive to seek out treatment out of fear of other consequences with police or the legal system.

This stigma is something that needs to be worked through by treatment programs and be presented to addicts that might be ready to stop the cycle of addiction. If addicts understand that treatment is an opportunity to make positive changes in their life, they might be more apt to seek out recovery on their own and work towards long term rehabilitation.

Many times those who are seeking treatment for street drug addiction will need both detox and inpatient treatment. If an individual has surrounded themselves with other drug addicts and a lifestyle that focuses on drug use, they will need to be fully removed from this in order for rehabilitation to take place. While detox is a great first step in recovery, if addicts go back to their old routines and habits, relapse will happen quickly. Treatment plans need to have an aftercare component that hopefully can offer a sober living environment and practical care and advice on job placement and long term education on sober living in general. Many times more than just drug use will be needed to change one’s life when overcoming a street drug addiction.