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At this point in time, the majority of Florida residents have been personally impacted by drug misuse or dependence. Rates of addiction and overdose have been steadily climbing since 2019. (1) While the emotional toll of substance use is seen on the surface, many overlook the financial implications that drug and alcohol use has on the state. With incarceration, treatment, mortality, and healthcare costs, the amount of money these residual effects have on the residents of florida adds up quickly. How does the state of Florida fit into each of these categories, and, more importantly, what is being done to prevent further rise in the detrimental effects that drug and alcohol use has on the sunshine state.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the life controlling cycles of addiction, there is hope. Guardian Recovery Network is available in both Florida as well as multiple locations across the United States. With our comprehensive network of trained medical and clinical staff, your recovery and support is our primary objective. We know how difficult it can be to battle each day against addiction, but , thankfully, you no longer have to fight alone. Call today to take the first step in your journey towards freedom.

Drug Abuse Rates in Florida

Recent data (2) shows that among Florida residents over the age of 12, 8.32% of them report having used an illegal drug within the past month. This is lower than the national average, however, deaths from drug use are higher in Florida than the national average. The most common category for both deaths and treatment admittance is “other opiates.” This category includes prescription medications as well as fentanyl. In addition to opiates, the amount of meth lab seizures in Florida have risen 77% in recent years from 185 incidents to 327.

Yearly Overdose Death Rates & Statistics for Florida

Drug overdose deaths began to increase in Florida from 2015 through 2017. In 2018, however, there began a decline in the rate of deaths attributed to overdose. Again, though, beginning in 2019 and carrying on to present day, overdose death rates have continued to climb. It is estimated that from 2019 through 2020 over 7,000 Florida residents died from a fatal overdose. The vast majority of these overdoses have been attributed to synthetic opiates like fentanyl.

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Which Counties in Florida Have the Highest Rates of Drug Abuse?

Factors like population density, poverty, and access to various substances all play a role in determining the areas with the highest concentration of substance use in the state of Florida. The top five counties (3) for drug use, as estimated by overdose rates are:

  • Palm Beach
  • Brevard
  • Duval
  • Miami-Dade
  • Pinellas

In 2021, Broward County was the leader in drug overdose deaths. There were an estimated 638 deaths in this county caused by overuse of illicit drugs. This means that in Broward County, nearly 2 individuals died each day for the year of 2021 as a result of a drug overdose.

What Are the Annual Costs of Drug Addiction to US Businesses?

When estimating the financial costs of drug and alcohol use on the United States economy, a viable metric of measurement is the amount that illicit substance use costs businesses each year as a result. Many fail to realize, the majority of those who identify as having a substance use disorder are employed full time. Factors like days called in sick, workplace accidents, leaving work to seek treatment, and working while intoxicated all play a role in determining the true cost that substance use has had. Statistics show that full‐time workers who were current drug users also were about twice as likely as non‐users to skip one or more days of work in the past month. Similarly, full‐time workers who were current drug users were more likely to report missing two or more workdays in the past month due to illness or injury, when compared with workers who were not current users. Since 1999 it is estimated that substance use, for both drugs and alcohol, has cost businesses in the United States $510.8 billion (4). This amount breaks down to approximately $21.3 billion each year that American businesses lose as a result of drug and alcohol use.

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It is estimated that roughly $43 billion (5) is spent each year in the state of Florida due to drug and alcohol misuse. The Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association reports:

  • Every hour over $1.01 million is spent due to injuries caused by alcohol.
  • Every hour $392 thousand is spent on crimes related to alcohol.
  • Every hour over $11 thousand will be spent on hospital visits due to drug use.
  • Every hour $200 thousand will be spent on other drug use issues.

These estimates mean that among the estimated 21 million residents of Florida, drug and alcohol use costs each Florida resident approximately $1,900 each year.

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Drug Use Rates in Florida: Influencing Variables

As the opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc on families and communities, Florida has felt its effects on par with the rest of the country. With drug overdose and treatment admissions remaining centered around opioids, many look to them as a root cause for much of the difficulty that Florida residents have faced. Another factor that plays a part in Florida’s high rates of drug and alcohol use is the high rate of tourism. With many residents adopting the party habits of tourists on vacation, addiction often develops and leads to a multitude of unwanted consequences.

If you or someone that you know is struggling with addictive patterns due to alcohol or drug use, help is available. Guardian Recovery Network is a nationwide network of treatment facilities serving both Florida as well as the rest of the country. With our proven track record of success, participation in drug treatment with us is an extremely positive step towards your journey of long term recovery. Call today to speak with one of our intake counselors and begin your walk to freedom.

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Serving as the Inpatient Clinical Director at Immersion Recovery Center, Susan will work directly with staff members, clients, and family members to ensure the clinical program remains as effective and individualized as possible. Susan is no stranger to the fields of behavioral health and addiction. She has over 25 years of experience, working in an inpatient setting, an outpatient setting, acute stabilization and nearly all other settings in the realm of addiction recovery.