Florida Addiction Treatment and Info

There are high rates of substance abuse and addiction in Florida. This is due, at least in part, to the state's limited oversight of unnecessary medications and unethical medications. The problem has grown to such an extent that it is now a state emergency.

Addiction in Florida

Research studies estimated in 2014 that more than 400,000 residents of Florida were abusing various substances, including drugs and alcohol. In 2016, this problem has grown to such an extent that more than 5,000 overdoses involving these substances were reported in the state.

By 2017, the state governor - Rick Scott - was forced to declare the substance abuse problem a state epidemic and emergency. The same year, his office proposed that the state spend $54 million in prevention and treatment services, grants, and education programs.

Today, the state has many addiction treatment and rehabilitation services in place. These services are offered at both inpatient and outpatient centers focused on helping their patients overcome their substance abuse and addiction.

Since the state has an estimated population of more than 21 million residents - according to figures from the US Census Bureau - it is not exactly surprising that it has been at the core of one of the worst drug and alcohol abuse epidemics in the United States.

Additionally, other research studies have showed that Florida is ranked in the 5th position for the rates of violent crimes involving drugs. it is also one of the main ports of entry for substances coming into the United States from Venezuela, Colombia, and Mexico.

Today, the main substances of abuse in this state include methamphetamines, cocaine, alcohol, tranquilizers, sedatives, stimulants, marijuana, opioids, and heroin. However, there are many other drugs being taken by the residents of Florida

From recent figures, the following are the numbers relating to fatalities involving drugs and alcohol in the state:

  • Between 2015 and 2016, he state lost a total of 305 lives as a result of a meth overdose
  • From 2003 through to 2012, more than 8000 people died in a drunk driving incident
  • From 2003 through to 2013, it lost 15301 lives due to a drug overdose involving prescription medications
  • In 2015, the state also 5725 lives as a result of a drug overdose involving opioids other than heroin
  • In 2015, the state lost 1834 lives to a cocaine overdose
  • In 2016, a total of 952 people died in Florida due to a heroin overdose

Addiction Treatment in Florida

SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - reported in 2009 that Florida saw close to 80,000 people admitted in an addiction treatment and rehabilitation center. Of this number, approximately 38 percent were female while the remaining 62 percent were male.

By 2006, the state had seen an increase in the number of admissions in a drug rehab program of 46 percent from 21 percent in 1992. That year (2006), the N-SSATS - the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services - reported that there were only 228 facilities in Florida offering addiction treatment services on a residential or inpatient basis.

Commonly Abused Substances in Florida

But which addictive substances are most commonly abused in this state? Consider the information provided below:


Research studies consistently show that alcohol is among the substances that are most commonly substances among people checking into a drug rehab facility in Florida. In 2009, for instance, close to 14,000 people were admitted in such a facility for abusing alcohol. an additional 8399 people similar treatment for abusing alcohol with another secondary drug.


Today, cocaine is the main drug threat in this state. This is not entirely surprising considering just how widely available it is. From 2005 to 2006, for instance, more than 39000 local residents reported that they had abused it at least once in their lives.

By 2009, it was reported that more than 7700 people checked into an addiction treatment facility for smoking this substance. An additional 3815 people received similar services for abusing cocaine through other routes of administration.


Florida is unlike many other American state in the sense that heroin is not one of the major substances of abuse among local residents. Most of the supplies of heroin that entire this state does so while they are on the way to other markets located outside Florida.

That said, only about 1700 people enrolled in a drug rehab in 2009 for abusing heroin and developing an opioid use disorder - or an addiction - as a result. This number was comparatively lower than the figures reported across the United States.


Two years earlier in 2007, a total of 24812 people were enrolled in a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation facility in this state for abusing marijuana and developing dependence as a result.

Prescription Drugs

Reports show that the state has seen an unprecedented increase in the volumes of prescription drug abuse among local residents. In 2009, more than 12000 people checked into a drug rehab program for abusing these opioids.

During the same time, it seemed that OxyContin and hydrocodone were the main prescription drugs being abused in Florida. From 2005 through to 2006, for instance, more than 770000 residents reported that they had taken their prescription medications for a non-medical reason at least once in their lives.

Drug Related Injuries and Fatalities in Florida

Since Florida enjoys more than 8,000 miles of pure coastline, it is not exactly surprising that drug traffickers are able to get the opportunity they need to bring in drugs from other countries into the United States.

Additionally, reports from the Medical Examiners of Florida show that the state loses at least 5 lives every single day due to a drug overdose involving prescription medications. This number does not include the drug overdoses involving other substances of abuse.

The DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - has also reported that ecstasy or MDMA is one of the drugs that are most readily available at affordable prices in this state. It is particularly popular at rave parties and clubs across Florida.

In 2007, for instance, the DEA seized close to 82000 dosage units of ecstasy. The preceding year, the state lost a total of 67 lives as a result of this substance while another 4 lives were lost to GHB. In 2007 also, federal agents seized more than 7000 kilos of marijuana while the DEA eradicated a total of 46526 cultivated plants of this drug.

Drug traffickers also heavily transport and sell crack cocaine in the state. In 2007, to this end, the DEA was able to seize more than 5600 kilos of cocaine while the drug was linked to more than 1000 deaths in the state. This was a reduction from the 2052 deaths reported in Florida involving cocaine.

On the other hand, methamphetamine - also known as meth - is widely available across all the 67 counties of Florida. To this end, it is not exactly surprising that the DEA saw an increase of more than 148 percent in the number of meth labs it seized between 2007 (about 128 seizures) and 2009 (a total of 318 seizures).

In 2006, the state reported that 117 deaths were linked to this substance while the DEA was able to seized close to 20 kilograms of it the following year in 2007.

Apart from this figures, the state has the 3rd oldest drug court program across the United State - a program that was started in the 1990s. by 2007, it had a total of 92 drug courts, among which more than 45 percent dealt with cases involving regular cocaine.

The same year, the state made a total of 155246 drug arrests involving adults while the DEA made a total of 2590 arrests. This is not exactly surprising considering that more than 1.2 million residents - about 8 percent of the entire population - reported that they had abused an illicit drug at least once from 2005 through to 2006.

Addiction Prevention in Florida

The office of the Attorney General of Florida reported that the drug abuse and addiction prevention programs in this state often involve various initiatives and programs overseen by various state departments.

These departments include the Department of Health, the Department of Children, and the SAMHP - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program. These agencies liaise to decrease the rates of substance abuse reported among local residents.

Other preventative measures include:

a) Pill Mills

The office of the Attorney General has also been trying to reduce the total number of pill mills in Florida. These mills refer to clinics and doctors' officers where the officials concerned write too many prescriptions for narcotics and other opioid pain relief medications even to people who do not display any need for these medications.

The Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System released by the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - also reported that 90 out of the 100 physicians who purchase oxycodone were located in Florida in 2010.

Due to this report, the state started reinforcing its controls over prescriptions among doctors. Due to these controls, more than 100 medical experts were arrested. The state also closed several clinics and seized assets and many controlled substances in the process. Some 4 years later in 2014, only about 367 of the original 900 pain management clinics in the state were open.

b) Outlawing Synthetic Drugs

Over 11,000 people visited an emergency room in 2010 as a result of a problem involving synthetic drugs. 75 percent of these people were between the ages of 12 and 29 but the greatest majority were aged between 12 and 17.

The state has tried to combat this problem by expanding the schedule of various controlled substances to include such synthetic cannabinoids and Spice and K2 as well as bath salts (or cathinones). Further, Florida has outlawed more than 130 chemical compounds used in the production of these substances.

Addiction Treatment in Florida

While Florida continues working against the availability of addictive substances among local residents, there are several addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs helping people who are already struggling with substance use disorders and other co-occurring medical and mental health disorders.

These centers offer a wide variety of addiction recovery services, including but not limited to:

  • 12 step and non-12 step support group meetings, including Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Addiction education
  • Aftercare services
  • Alumni groups
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Complementary therapies including yoga, massage, equine therapy, meditation, biofeedback, animal therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and journaling
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Exercise and nutrition
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Intervention services
  • Medical detox
  • Outpatient addiction treatment programs
  • Residential or inpatient programs
  • Sober living homes
  • Stress management and coping techniques

i) Medical Detox

When you first enroll in a drug rehab center, you will be required to go through a thorough evaluation to assess the extent and severity of your substance use disorder. After that, you may be provided with medically managed detoxification services.

The goal of detox would be to help manage any withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that you display during the first few stages of your recovery. These symptoms might prove to be painful, uncomfortable, or even fatal in some instances.

ii) Inpatient Drug Rehab

At the end of your medical detox, you will be asked to choose between inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment might be the right solution if you have a severe substance use disorder or have also been diagnosed with another co-occurring disorder.

It will allow you to live at the recovery center so that you can focus on your long term sobriety without the triggers, stress factors, and other distractions that might otherwise have interfered with your progress if you had opted for outpatient treatment.

iii) Outpatient Drug Rehab

You can also opt for outpatient addiction treatment. This form of treatment would allow you to visit the recovery center several times every week for some hours every time. During this time, you will work through your substance related issues until you achieve full recovery. After that, you can go back to your regular daily schedule, as well as continue living at home or in a sober living facility.

iv) Specialized Drug Rehab

You can also opt for specialized drug rehab programs. These programs might be ideal if you would benefit from more personalized and individualized recovery services. They include options such as:

  • Alternative or holistic addiction treatment
  • Dual-diagnosis treatment programs
  • Gender-specific addiction recovery programs
  • Medication-assisted treatment

Getting Help

If you know that you are addicted, it is recommended that you choose either inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment - or even both - so that you can get the help you need to overcome your substance use disorder.











For more information about treatment centers in Florida, Click Here.

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