Alcohol and Drug Abuse Needs to Be Addressed in South Florida
“Welcome to Miami, Bienvenidos a Miami” were the hit lyrics to Will Smith’s debut single Miami Style from his 1998 album Big Willie Style. Everyone knew the lyrics and was jamming to it whether they were from Miami or not. Even before Will Smith was rapping about the Sunshine state the Cocaine Cowboys of the 80’s had already put the city on the map for it’s heavy drug involvement. And then there was Scarface, which glorified those times and then the real victims of the massive drug influx – the people dying from overdoses, the broken families torn apart by addiction and the lost roaming in and out of homeless shelters trying to piece back their lives.
Miami is known as a top vacation spot in the country for relaxing on the beach during the day and partying hard at the many clubs and entertainment districts at night. As with any vacation and party spot – the use of alcohol and illegal substances can be higher than normal. Every year Miami hosts one of the largest music festivals, Miami Winter Conference, in which Molly is all the rage. Drug use is not new to the Miami resident but the need for treatment is dire.
Alcohol Abuse in Miami
According to a comprehensive report by the Miami Coalition, “Alcohol has the highest prevalence of use and abuse of any substance in Miami-Dade County and throughout the nation. Adult, White males are most frequently reported in alcohol- related consequences”.
Reasons why alcohol abuse is high in Miami can be found in the highlights of the report, which are:
1. An estimated 71,000 current underage alcohol drinkers aged 12 to 20 years of
age in Miami Dade County. More than half of them or 40,200 local underage drinkers have engaged in binge alcohol use (5 or more drinks in a row) in the past month.
2. More Miami-Dade County girls (35.6 percent) in grades 6-12 have consumed alcohol in
the past month than boys (29.4 percent).
3. Twenty-nine percent of Miami-Dade high school students report having had their first
alcohol drink before the age of 13 making them 5 times more likely to develop an alcohol
dependency problem later in life than someone who first drank at age 21.
4. Miami-Dade young adults aged 18-25 years report the highest rates of binge drinking
(31.5 percent) compared to youth (6.6 percent) or adults over age 25 (19.5 percent).
5. Half of Miami-Dade County’s young adults and adults are current users of alcohol.
6. Among those coming to Miami-Dade County emergency rooms for an alcohol-related
problem in 2006, 26 percent were seeking detox.
7. Most deaths and emergency department reports related to alcohol in Miami-Dade County
are among middle-aged adults 35 to 54 years of age.
8. A federal survey reports that 120,892 Miami-Dade residents (or 6 percent of the
population aged 12 and above) were in need of, but did not receiving treatment for
alcohol abuse or dependency in the past year.
Alcohol Rehab in Miami
There is an overwhelming need for Alcohol Rehabilitation for the residents of Miami Dade County but to receive detox and treatment in a city that depends on it’s large amounts of revenue from it’s entertainment businesses (and alcohol sales) it’s probably not the best place to receive treatment. People seeking alcohol rehab in Miami should look further north to get away from the party atmosphere and give themselves a chance to remove themselves physically and mentally from all that. If you’ve even been to Miami you know that it’s not like anywhere else you’ve been. Once you leave the airport and get into traffic – the flow is more aggressive, the people more on edge and in town alcohol is practically available 24/7.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse we can help. Please contact FHE Health at 833-596-3502.