South Florida Drug Epidemic in Broward County

Substance abuse in the United States is a battle that affects everyone, addict or not. From the economic costs to the addict themselves, to the emotional toll it takes on those around them. Addiction is a disease that needs to be controlled one way or another. There have been several attempts to crack down on illicit drug use and prescription pill abuse, but no solutions truly stick.

Let’s break down the numbers for what substance abuse costs the economy.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the United States has spent $600 billion covering the costs of substance abuse:

  • $235 billion on alcohol
  • $193 billion on tobacco
  • $193 billion on illicit drugs

Now, many people wonder why an addict simply can’t just stop using drugs. Well, that’s because many can’t understand the concept that addiction is a complex disease that changes the way the brain works. Overtime, the brain becomes dependent on the drugs that the addict is putting in their system, and that basically turns into a system override where all they can think about is getting their next fix.

Addiction shows up in many ways. Whether it’s genetic, the environment, or their development, there’s no one definitive reason as to why someone becomes an addict. However, if addiction runs in your family, it’s important to keep yourself on alert so you don’t end up abusing any type of substances.

South Florida Drug Epidemic

In South Florida, authorities have been trying to make great strides in the battle against prescription drug abuse, but the new epidemic is heroin. In 2011, there were a total of 15 heroin related deaths, but that jumped to 33 in 2012. The heroin epidemic was noted in 2011 after the infamous pill mill bust, but why heroin? Well, heroin has the same affects as pain killers, and it’s more affordable and available. So, for those addicts who were addicted to prescription pain killers, they found an alternative.

In Broward County, although the use of prescription pain killers has declined, they’re not out of the woods yet. According to a report by the Drug-Abuse Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, the threat of abuse still remains high saying, “heroin and/or prescription opiods constitute an opiate epidemic.”

If you or someone you know if struggling to overcome their addiction and are seeking help. Find a treatment center in your area so you can get back on the road to a long and healthy life.

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