Florida has traditionally served as a major transport hub for illegal drugs entering the continental United States, usually through the Caribbean from Central or South America. As a result, drug addiction in the state, particularly South Florida, has become problematic. In order to combat this problem it is first important to understand its nature, and the type of drugs that most frequently appear on the streets here.
Data collected from the Florida Drug Control report indicates that marijuana is one of the state’s most popular drugs, and is a frequent cause for individuals entering rehab. About 50 percent of these individuals are young adults or teenagers. As with other states in the U.S., Florida has considered legalizing marijuana for medical use, but as with alcohol, many people underestimate the dangers of abusing this substance.
Heroin has become very popular in Florida, particularly in Broward County, and heroin related rehab admissions have increased by more than 86 percent. Local law enforcement officials have also stated that the number of heroin related crimes and indictments have grown by more than 20 percent. Some experts believe that the increase in heroin use throughout the state is a result of the increased regulation which has been enacted regarding painkillers. Heroin is a powerful substance which can cause serious health and behavioral problems, and many people consider it one of the greatest challenges that the state faces today.
Prescription Drug Addiction
An increasing number of people in Florida are overdosing on prescription drugs, which has resulted in numerous deaths. As a result, the authorities have enacted various regulations, but despite this prescription drug abuse in Florida remains one of the highest in the country. A study conducted by the Florida Department of Corrections has shown that one of the most frequent causes of addiction related deaths are a result of benzodiazepines such as Xanax.
At one time cocaine ruled South Florida, which resulted in both heavy addiction and savage violence. While cocaine no longer holds the dominion that it once had, it has never fallen completely out of style, and research indicates that tens of thousands in the area still abuse it regularly. As a result cocaine is commonly seen among addicts that enter rehab seeking treatment.
The abuse of any of the substances listed above should be a cause of concern. This is particularly true for people who live in Florida as the state is geographically well suited to transnational drug shipments. This necessitates the need for greater education and awareness among the population so that they can understand the threat these substances pose. The reality is that drug abuse destroys the lives of not only individuals, but their families and the communities in which they live. Overcoming drug abuse must be fought on the individual and community level. Those that are addicted to these substances should seek help from institutions that can assist them, and communities must work together to enact measures which prevent people from becoming addicted in the first place.