A report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in January 2014 found that cases of Heroin overdose in South Florida have been rapidly increasing. In 2011 the total number of fatalities in the state of Florida that were related to heroin overdose was 62. By the following year that number increased to 117. Heroin produced on the streets or in clandestine labs will often include additives that increase the potency of the drug. An additive that is becoming present more frequently in heroin related overdoses is the opiate fentanyl. The Miami Beach heroin crisis is difficult to combat without effective treatment programs and awareness that they exist. This substance is an analgesic opiate that is used to treat extremely severe cases of pain (such as chronic pain experienced from cancer) the drug is 100 times stronger than morphine and is very addictive. Like most opiates heroin and fentanyl both reduce respiratory activity which makes breathing more difficult. This creates a serious risk of heart attack when fentanyl is combined with heroin.
It is impossible to address the rising use of heroin in the South Florida metropolitan area without addressing the high availability of prescription opiates. Prescription opiates such as Percocet, Roxicodone, and Vicodin are distributed more copiously in Florida and the Southeast than the rest of the United States. Pain management clinics also known as pill mills are a source where drug users and sellers can get pills in large quantities, with little cross-examination as to what the medication would be used for. Fortunately a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program was established in the state of Florida towards the latter half of 2011. This program established several public health regulations and legal initiatives that increased the security requirements of health care establishments where prescription medication is provided. This led to a decrease in cases of malpractice at pain management facilities, and clinics where opiates were available.
Most people are surprised to learn the demographic group that is most likely to develop an addiction to prescription drugs are not teenagers or young adults…it is the elderly who are at the highest risk of addiction. Older adults receive numerous prescriptions for powerful medications and it is easy for them to forget they have already taken a painkiller or their sleep medication. Soon, they find they cannot do without these medications. Prescription drug addiction is especially dangerous for senior citizens because their bodies do not process the drugs efficiently, which increases the risk of overdose.
The Miami Beach heroin crisis is heavily fueled by the rise prescription drug addiction among individuals of all ages. When prescription drugs become to expensive or difficult to obtain many turn to heroin in desperation because it is inexpensive and widely available.
Drug addicts that misuse prescription opiates are more likely to experiment with heroin. When prescription opiates such as Roxicodone and Vicodin are sold on the street the price is marked up substantially, especially if the buyer is purchasing the drugs per pill. Overtime the cost inefficiency of buying pills through illicit distributors or pill mills has led to a significant increase in heroin use amongst opiate users. Heroin is an opioid that converts into morphine once ingested in the body. The high experienced from Heroin is similar to that experienced when under the influence of prescription opiates such as Roxicodone and Vicodin.
If the Government seeks to effectively reduce the opiate and heroin endemic in south Florida, funding cannot be allocated to drug enforcement alone.
At the Miami Beach Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Center, we offer effective and safe addiction recovery treatment options for people of all ages. With our older patients, we help them learn how to manage their medications and develop other means of coping with pain, sleepless, and anxiety without using prescription drugs. Additionally, we work with their families and caretakers so they learn how to prevent relapse and talk to elderly person’s doctors about the need to stay away from prescribing addictive medications. Miami Beach Drug Rehabs are working to help individuals overcome their substance abuse through extensive therapy and effective drug treatment programs.
The Miami Beach heroin crisis can be overcome through long term treatment and prevention strategies. Contact one of our caring drug addiction recovery specialists today and regain control of your life. We are here for you at (786)350-2140.
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