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Governor DeSantis is Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Florida

jrtempleton - April 3, 2019

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As reported by NBC 6 South Florida, Florida’s newly elected governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are reviving Florida’s Office on Drug Control. This office was originally established by former governor Jeb Bush to help provide resources to substance abuse programs throughout the state. Former governor Rick Scott shut down the program amidst the surge in opioid abuse, as part of cost-cutting measures.

Under DeSantis and Moody and with additional funding from the federal government, the office will help align Florida’s strategy in assisting those battling addiction and provide additional resources and guidance in targeting those responsible for distributing drugs in our communities. This stance from leadership underscores just how serious Florida’s opioid crisis currently is, but it may signal a turning point in the battle to keep our citizens safe.

How Bad Is the Opioid Crisis in Florida?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Floridians have higher rates of overdose deaths related to opioids than the national average. While painkiller prescription rates are on the decline, Florida providers are still prescribing more than the national average, which may be contributing to the issue.

However, the most alarming surge in overdose-related deaths in the past few years is due to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Heroin is also playing a significant role in the opioid crisis, because painkillers often serve as a gateway to heroin use.

Why are so many people suffering at the hands of these drugs?

Part of the problem is how difficult it can be to obtain painkillers as doctors stop prescribing them. When this occurs, people who are already addicted start looking for illegitimate sources to obtain the drugs. These sources often produce painkillers with fentanyl, putting the user at even more danger of overdose.

Another key reason is the cost. Painkillers are oftentimes more expensive. This leaves heroin and fentanyl, since they are cheaper.

Signs That Your Loved One Might Be Addicted to Opioids

Opioids like heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers are incredibly addictive. If you’re worried that a loved one might be struggling with one of these substances, here are some of the warning signs:

  • Abandoning responsibilities
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures
  • Sleeping excessively (or little)
  • Vomiting

How to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Your Home

While you can’t cure your loved one’s addiction or control their actions, there are some things you can do to help understand the need for treatment. Be positive and loving when you approach the subject. Try to understand the emotions and mindset of someone who feels beholden to addictive impulses—often at the expense of personal health, relationships and more.

People who have experienced trauma may struggle with addiction, as well. It’s important for someone battling these conditions simultaneously to get dual diagnosis treatment that addresses both. Encourage your loved one to get help.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Florida

The treatment program at Footprints Beachside Recovery in Treasure Island, Florida is tailored to meet the needs of each individual. We educate our clients and their families about all aspects of addiction and how to identify pitfalls that may lead to relapse.

Using evidence-based treatment and holistic approaches, we can work with your loved one to heal the mind, body and spirit from the damage caused by addiction. Do you have questions about opioid addiction and the treatment available? Contact us today.

Call Now: 877-250-3935