Some of you that have visited this site before will know that I write for the best drug rehabilitation center in Florida, located in Panama City. In the first part of this series, I introduced a new research organization out of central Florida called Project Opioid, and I went over part of the new research they have released this month. The most interesting facet of this research, to me, is the fact that they included a huge amount of Florida data along with the national data. In this part 2 I will go over some of the data that was published for the state of Florida, the state that includes both many of the best drug rehabs and treatment centers and also has a serious opioid problem going back decades.
First, they published an estimate for the total number of active opioid users at 636,000 for the year 2019. That is very high, and I will try and find out where that number comes from, as it specifically states that 636,000 people are misusing opiates, so it does not simply count everyone with a prescription from a doctor. They report that 60% of opioid-related deaths in the state of Florida were under the age of 45, which is incredibly sad, but it fits the pattern that we normally see with opiate overdoses. They report that 138,000 Florida children were affected by the ongoing opioid epidemic circa 2017, and that number will have gone up with 2 of the following years having spikes in opioid use.
Next, they reported on the most recent data on overall opioid-related overdoses and deaths in the state of Florida. Often, overdose numbers and death statistics are the most reliable numbers we have with which to measure the crisis, as virtually all overdose deaths end with hospital and law enforcement involvement, giving us a record of the circumstances. It also must be noted that it is widely believed that the current Covid-19 pandemic is one of the worst times in history when it comes to increasing numbers of overdoses and deaths. People are forced to stay at home, with less access to loved ones, and not only is that a bad situation for anyone with an addiction or mental illness, but using opiates alone is particularly risky because there may be nobody to call for help in the event of an overdose. The best drug rehabs in Florida, Alabama, and elsewhere are doing everything they possibly can to stay open and help people with substance use disorder, but they must be incredibly careful to keep Covid-19 infections from getting staff and patients sick while they are treating people for substance use disorder. The most recent data which was reported by the Opioid Project is that there were 3,727 overdoses in Florida in 2018 in which the person died from the overdose. The same year included almost 12,000 overdoses in which the person survived. We know from all the research over the last two years that 2019 and 2020 will both be worse than 2018, which is important to understand even if these numbers are already extremely scary. Tomorrow I will bring more information from both the national data pool and the Florida and Central Florida numbers, but as always, if you or a loved one could benefit from treatment at the best drug rehab center in Florida or Alabama, visit the programs page on this website for more information.
By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at TACannonWriting@gmail.com)