In Florida, drug use is now related more often than ever before to deaths, according to the most recent Florida Medical Examiners Commission report, which was released in April, 2017. The report covers data obtained in 2015.
The total number of drug-related deaths in the state increased by 13.9% in the first half of 2015 compared to the first half of 2014. In a particularly disturbing trend, “deaths caused by heroin increased by 114.8% (171 more) compared with the first half of 2014,” according to the report. This has led state lawmakers to create a task group to address what they now believe is a “heroin crisis” in Florida.
In the Tampa Bay area, the number of heroin-related deaths between January and June 2015 were reported as follows:
- Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties – 34 deaths with 29 of those deaths attributed to heroin and 5 where heroin was present.
- Hillsborough County – 19 deaths with 17 of those deaths attributed to heroin as the cause and 2 where heroin was present.
- Pinellas and Pasco counties – 8 deaths with 7 of those deaths attributed to heroin and 1 where heroin was present.
Statewide, 343 deaths with heroin involved were recorded between January and June 2015. Of those deaths, 320 were caused by heroin, the state’s report said. Sadly, the list of drugs involved in Florida deaths goes on to include amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, ethanol, diazepam, fentanyl, tramadol and many more.
To access the full Florida Medical Examiners Commission Report, click here.
Nationally, it is estimated that 125 Americans die from drug overdoses daily.
What is Addiction?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when a person can’t stop using drugs or drinking alcohol despite negative consequences, it’s called addiction. The urge is too strong to control, even if he or she knows the drug or alcohol is causing harm.
Drugs and alcohol can become more important to those who are addicted than the need to eat or sleep. The urge to get and use the drug or to drink can fill every moment of their lives. The addiction may replace all the things they used to enjoy and they might do almost anything – even lying, stealing, or hurting people – to keep taking the drug or drinking alcohol.
This takes a horrific toll, not just on those who are addicted, but on their family as well.
They will see their addicted loved ones suffer from this brain disease in many ways – some of which are permanent. Addiction is a medical disease, just as diabetes and cancer are diseases. And without help, those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol face serious health and welfare issues. So do their families, especially if children are involved.
At Advantage Mental Health Center, we can help you or your loved one manage addiction through both medication-based treatment and counseling. There is hope to get through it, emerge successful and live a fulfilling life. We’re here to help.
If you or someone you know suffers from any of the symptoms associated with addiction, get help today. Call the professionals at Advantage Mental Health Center at 727-600-8093 to schedule an appointment.