In recent months, Dopesick Nation, a documentary television series on Viceland, has provided an inside look at the addiction epidemic in the United States, specifically in South Florida. In Dopesick Nation, Frankie and Allie are two recovering addicts. They set out on a mission to take on this growing epidemic, with a specific focus on opioids, and turn things around. To do so, they talk to and assist many other people who use drugs to get help.
The other component of this unique reality show is the focus on the “recovery capital of America,” as the show calls it. South Florida, including areas such as Palm Beach and Broward County, have become centers for addiction recovery in the last decade.
Take a Look Back at the History of Addiction Recovery in South Florida
There was a time in South Florida when regulations on drug and alcohol recovery centers were lax. Over the years, numerous doctors have been arrested and treatment programs closed down. These infractions stemmed from aggressive marketing tactics and insurance fraud to heinous acts of patient neglect. Now that reforms are in place, things have changed drastically.
Many of the organizations that were unable to conform to and abide by regulations have been forced to close down. Those bad actors have faced punishments and are thankfully no longer taking advantage of patients. All of this has brought significant change to the industry in South Florida. Specifically, the industry is highly scrutinized in the area right now.
That means the remaining facilities providing addiction treatment are facing a significantly higher level of attention from the authorities. This is not to say that all treatment centers in South Florida are now reputable, but there have been significant changes. It is still important to seek out only the very best of those organizations with the highest level of ethics. At FHE Health, we have always been proud to maintain these specific levels of care and have had no illegal behavior in our past.
Addiction Treatment in Florida Is Critically Needed
Much of the United States is facing an opioid epidemic, and Florida is a part of that. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that in 2016, there were 2,798 overdose deaths in the state of Florida due to the use of opioids. The state’s overdose rate is 14.4 deaths per 100,000 people — higher than the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people.
The rate of use and overdose continues to grow. In 2013, just 200 people died from synthetic opioid-related overdoses. In 2016, this number rose to 1,566 people.
There are many reasons for this. For example, there were 69.6 prescriptions written for opioid medications for every 100 people living in the state in 2013, or about 13.6 million prescriptions. These rates have fallen somewhat in the last few years, down to 62.8 prescriptions per 100 people as of 2015. Similar rates may be seen across the U.S.
South Florida Is Again the Ideal Destination for Rehab and Treatment
Why is Florida’s rate so high? There’s little doubt that most of these addictions occur in people who live in the state. Yet, over the last few years, there has also been significant growth in the number of people visiting Florida specifically for drug addiction. With such an influx in the number of people in active addiction, it’s no wonder that the state sees higher rates of overdoses. While it is difficult to confirm with data, it is reasonable to assume that overdose rates based on home states would be much more level.
Consider the benefits of traveling for treatment. By traveling, a person removes themselves from their enabling environment. That means the triggers that bring on the need to use are no longer present in their day-to-day life. This makes recovery more possible and also means that a person in treatment has to rely on the recovery structure developed for them. They don’t have a family to turn to for money to buy drugs or to bail them out of treatment.
In addition to this, Florida enjoys a fantastic climate. While it is not necessarily a good idea to view addiction recovery as a vacation, the atmosphere does contribute to decision making. You are coming here to recover, allow your mind and body to heal and develop new connections.
Working on Yourself Is a Good Thing
You can find addiction treatment centers with outstanding programs throughout the United States. Yet, many people choose to visit Florida for help for several reasons. The first is because they know high-quality programs are available to them here. There are many outstanding, cutting-edge treatment programs available, many of which are providing incredible opportunities to overcome addiction.
Yet, when you employ a vacation destination mind-set to the area, you are also committed to working on yourself. It is a place for you to think and grow personally and privately in your own way. There’s no stigma here of having to be perfect or to have it all.
To that point, it is also important to see South Florida for what it is and no longer is. It’s easy to think of the Miami lifestyle as being nothing but using drugs and drinking well into the night. Miami’s fast-paced, club-fueled lifestyle is still present. Yet, that’s one city. It most certainly does not represent the rest of the region.
There’s a Recovery Community Here to Support You
Perhaps you live in a small town or a big city with many familiar faces. In these environments, it can be hard to access the right tools and resources you need to work on yourself. South Florida, including locations such as Deerfield Beach, has worked hard to develop resources to support those in need.
Because the city has become such an important recovery destination, you’ll find a wide range of organizations throughout the community to help you. For example, use this tool at AABroward.org to find an Alcoholics Anonymous program. You will find no fewer than 10 AA meetings within two miles of FHE Health, a testament to the saturation of the recovery community in our area.
Additional resources are available as well. There are numerous halfway homes and transitional living programs available. The treatment centers here, including those that handle emergency situations, are available, unlike many states where beds are available only on a very limited basis. Florida is also home to various religious-related programs, community-oriented programs and even government-assisted offerings to help individuals thrive in recovery.
Why Seek Out Treatment Yourself?
Take a moment to watch a bit of Dopesick Nation. Perhaps you’ll see an episode in which Frankie, one of the main characters, is facing a full-blown relapse. He’s trying to help others who need it, yet he is in a high-risk area and needs immediate help. If you are thinking about drug and alcohol rehabilitation, recognize just how challenging this path is.
Just like someone who has made it their life’s mission to help others, you are likely to stare relapse in the face as well. When you are in a community like South Florida, where support is available 24/7, you may face an opportunity to stay the course. That’s harder to do when your family and friends, as well as other enablers, are helping you.
Seek Out Help from FHE Health Today
South Florida welcomes you to the treatment options you need, whether you come to Deerfield Beach or any other area of the region. At FHE Health, our team of compassionate counselors is waiting to answer your questions and provide support to you 24/7. Call us at (833) 596-3502 to learn more about our admissions in a confidential, no-risk conversation.