Published On: Wed, Feb 8th, 2017

Opioid Addictions within Florida’s Population Growing

When we think of drug problems, we may not be thinking of the reality of the problem, instead thinking of a stereotypical drug user. In Florida, that perception is changing as more and more of its residents are becoming addicted to opioids.

The problem with these drugs generally starts with a prescription, as shocking as this may sound. There is a high percentage of opioid prescribing doctors in the state and this has a direct correlation to the number of addicted patients. These deadly drugs can be prescribed like candy, something that more and more people are becoming aware of.

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So what exactly is an opioid? This is a group of drugs that can come in many different shapes and forms. This could be something like Morphine, Codeine or Oxycontin, which are mostly intended for use as a pain management pill. Unfortunately, it has proven easy for people to become addicted to these drugs, as they do offer a high as well as a numbing effect.

Theft of opioids is also startlingly high, with people who share a home with those on a prescription much more likely to try them for themselves in a negative spiral. Parents with a prescription for these drugs are usually urged to keep them out of sight and locked away for this reason. This is not to say that every minor will be tempted to try them but it can happen.

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These drugs first gained popularity in the 1990s, when speedballing became prevalent. This was the practice of mixing opioids with other drugs for a more complex high. This practice is deadly and has claimed the lives of many, including the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. This extremely dangerous drug culture means that many vulnerable individuals are convinced to try more than one drug at once.

The state are trying to tackle this increasing trend towards this drug, with new legislation and regulations. Private citizens are also turning to rehab centers for opioid addiction treatment in Florida to mitigate the effect this drug has on their life. This is an insidious drug because of the way it can easily infiltrate everyday life, starting with a perfectly legal prescription. This can quickly spiral into an addiction which is treated in a rehab center and the user isn’t quite sure how they got there.

Opioids are also dangerous because a user can build up a tolerance to them. That way, they require more of them to get the same high and consume them much faster. If doctors notice this trend then they have a duty of care to provide alternatives instead of increasing the dose. This is an area that is not being correctly dealt with, as some doctors will just increase the dose at the patient’s request.

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On the flip side, if they do remove an opioid from the treatment then the user may go elsewhere to get it. This could mean that they turn to purchasing these drugs illegally and may also try other illegal drugs too. This is a perfect storm of addiction and in the long term can have devastating effect.

This is a growing problem within the state of Florida and it can only go on so long before it begins to affect everyday life. Legislators must act further to help those with this addiction.

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