In the state of Florida, around 14 people die every day from a drug overdose. There were more than 6,000 drug overdose deaths in Florida in just the first six months of 2017, per the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Medical Examiners Commission. Fatal drug overdoses in Florida are over twice the national average, and they nearly doubled between 2015 and 2016.

Prescription drug abuse is a major cause for concern in Florida. The 2017–2018 Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Annual Report publishes that nearly 7,000 people died in Florida in 2017 with at least one prescription medication in their system. The opioid epidemic in Florida has caused a declaration of a State of Emergency. Heroin, synthetic and illicit fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana are all common drugs of abuse in Florida.

Florida is also often a place where new and novel psychoactive substances (NPS) show up. Synthetic cathinones, such as flakka, have taken a toll in Florida, but the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) reports that trends for this deadly drug have been decreasing in recent years.

The proximity to the southern border of the United States and countries where drugs are manufactured makes Florida a landing place for many illegal drugs coming into the country. The availability of these drugs increases abuse and addiction rates.

Florida has a large drug abuse treatment system that is managed on a county basis. Services are offered through community-based providers on a local level.

Resource Guide for Florida Drug Abuse Treatment

In the state of Florida, drug abuse treatment services are overseen by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program. Care is provided directly through community-based providers that are overseen by one of seven managing entities broken down by region. Services for drug abuse include prevention and education, treatment, and recovery support.

two happy and supportive people

Resources for getting help with drug abuse and addiction in the state of Florida include the following:

  • Florida DCF: listing of local providers based on county of residence
  • Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator: national online tool for finding licensed treatment providers based on zip code of residence
  • Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA): advocates for treatment resources and policy in Florida
  • Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR): provides a directory and information on sober living communities
  • Prevention Coalitions: directory of coalitions in Florida striving to promote drug-free communities
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Programs: listing of clinics providing MAT in Florida
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Florida Region: information on local peer support groups and 12-step meetings supporting recovery throughout Florida

The Landscape of Florida Drug Abuse Treatment Services

blurry photo of drug treatment center

Many measures have been taken in the state of Florida in recent years to expand treatment resources and access to treatment for residents. An executive order signed in 2017 and extended in early 2018 addresses the opioid epidemic in an effort to minimize opioid overdose fatalities in Florida.

Evidence-based prevention and treatment models, expanded MAT services, and enhanced recovery support services are all part of Florida’s Opioid State Targeted Response Project. The Electronic-Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation Program (E-FORCSE), Controlled Substances Bill, and the standing order for naloxone all serve to minimize prescription drug diversion by monitoring the dispensing of controlled substances, increasing education for providers and prescribers, placing limits on potentially addictive opioid painkillers, and expanding access to the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone.

Florida drug abuse treatment models serve to educate the public and prevent prescription drug misuse and illegal drug abuse, often through community outreach and local providers. Treatment for the disease of addiction is also offered through local providers. Treatment services include:

  • Medical detox.
  • Case management.
  • Assessment and intervention services.
  • Crisis management.
  • Group and individual therapy.
  • Peer-support group meetings.
  • Medical treatment.
  • Medication management.
  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment services.
  • Transitional living arrangements.
  • Ongoing recovery support.

In Florida, loved ones can have someone involuntarily committed through the Marchman Act when drug abuse and addiction pose a safety threat and the person is unable or unwilling to seek treatment voluntarily.

In response to high rates of drug abuse and addiction, Florida took action. Throughout the state, efforts to expand MAT services and increase treatment and recovery support are ongoing. Residents have many options available that can help them get on the path to a sustained recovery.

Further Readings:

References

Battling the Opioid Death Wave. (February 2018). Florida Union-Times.

Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Medical Examiners. (April 2018). Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Medical Examiners Commission.

How to Beat Florida’s Drug Addiction. (October 2018). Tampa Bay Times.

2017–2018 Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Annual Report. (December 2018). Florida Health Electronic- Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation.

Patterns and Trends of Substance Abuse Within and Across Regions of Florida. (May 2018). Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association.

Substance Abuse. (2014). Florida Department of Children and Families.

Managing Entities. (2014). Florida Department of Children and Families.

Get Help. (2014). Florida Department of Children and Families.

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association. (2018). Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association and Florida Behavioral Health Association.

Florida Association of Recovery Residences. Florida Association of Recovery Residences.

Anti-Drug Coalitions. (June 2014). Florida Department of Children and Families.

List of Statewide Methadone Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs. (August 2018). Florida Department of Children and Families.

Welcome to the Florida Region. (2018). Narcotics Anonymous Florida Region.

State of Florida Office of the Governor Executive Order Number 18-47. (February 2018). Department of State.

Florida’s Opioid State Targeted Response Project. (2014). Florida Department of Children and Families.

E-FORCSE Homepage. (August 2018). Florida Health.

Florida Take Control. (2018). Florida Health.

Marchman Act Handbook 2003. (2003). State of Florida Department of Children and Families Substance Abuse Program.