TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. – As the national drug epidemic continues to worsen across the U.S., the White House has requested congressional action Wednesday, to increase funding for the expansion of both drug treatment and prevention programs.
Significant increases in opioid and heroin abuse have made headlines across the U.S and have become a major problem for communities.
Recovery experts from Footprints Beachside Recovery Center are warning the public of the dangers of both illicit and prescription drug abuse.
“Drug abuse is a major risk to public safety, as well as the safety of those that it afflicts,” said John Templeton, president of Footprints Beachside Recovery Center. “New information from the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that more people die of drug overdoses in the U.S. than car crashes. Drug abuse is a massive epidemic that our nation is facing.”
Just this week in Akron, Ohio, authorities responded to 15 suspected heroin overdoses within a 12-hour period. The city has been one of the hardest hit by increases in drug abuse, with 55 deaths attributed to heroin this year alone.
The effects of the drug epidemic continue to be seen in the Tampa Bay area, where this week, Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene of a drug-fueled home invasion. Investigators say the residents of a Clearwater home had to fight off a drug-crazed attacker with a machete, which resulted in his death.
“Much of the problem has stemmed from the increased ease of access for opioids and heroin. Opioids are often over prescribed by doctors and they are easy to get hooked on without even realizing it,” said Templeton. “If you are addicted to harmful substances like painkillers or heroin, or know someone who is, it is vital to seek immediate medical treatment.”
According to Templeton, over half of the patients seen at Footprints are suffering from an opioid addiction.
Founded in 2008, Footprints Beachside Recovery Center is a small, private, holistic substance abuse treatment center for adults and is located in Pinellas County, Fla. In addition to treating patients from throughout the U.S. and around the world, Footprints provides Florida clinicians with continuing education events and hosts community workshops on addiction related treatment and psychoeducation.
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