Approximately 7% of people over the age of 12 in Florida have a substance use disorder. The death rate from drug overdoses is 24 per 100,000 people, which is relatively high compared to the rest of the country.
Nevertheless, when it comes to the types of substances abused in Florida, the trends are similar to those in the rest of the United States. According to Recovery First, the problem does not only relate to illicit drugs.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Alcohol and tobacco are the most commonly abused substances in the state. Their sale is legal, though restricted to those over the age of 21. Nearly one out of five people in Florida smoke cigarettes, and approximately 10 years ago, nearly 14,000 people statewide went to treatment for alcohol use disorder.
Opioids include narcotic drugs such as heroin with no accepted medical use. They also include prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin or Vicodin. Many opioid addicts initially received the drugs from a doctor’s prescription and eventually became dependent on them.
When it comes to illicit drugs, marijuana is responsible for most of the admissions for treatment in Florida. Nearly all other states show a similar pattern. While many have called for its legalization, marijuana use is still against federal law.
Stimulants produce a sense of euphoria when taken and cause blood pressure and heart rate to increase. Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug widely abused across the United States. However, when it comes to stimulant abuse in Florida, meth use is less prevalent than that of cocaine.
Many of these drugs have legitimate medical uses for treating anxiety. They work by depressing the function of the central nervous system. They are among the most often prescribed and therefore also among the most often abused.