The Center for Disease Control is one of the most accurate and up-to-date sources for statistics related to health issues and diseases across the United States. However, there is a recent study conducted by an associate professor at the University of South Florida that shows drug and alcohol addiction might be an even greater issue than we think.
Opioid abuse has risen to such levels over the past couple of decades that it is considered to be an epidemic in America, and Florida is one of the states with the highest overdose rates in the country. In fact, the 2017 age-adjusted rate of drug overdoses in Florida is 25.1 whereas the national rate was 21.7. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, these rates rose 9.6% across the country.
It is not a secret that the rates provided by the CDC are not exact, but you may be surprised to learn that the rates might be much higher than what the CDC is reporting. Troy C. Quast is a Ph.D. and an associate professional at the University of South Florida. He conducted a study where he complied all of the fatal overdose numbers for Florida between 2003 and 2017, which were “caused by three drug classes — amphetamines, benzodiazepines and opioids — and three specific drugs — methadone, cocaine, and heroin — that were listed in the CDC’s Multiple Cause of Death (MCOD) database”. In this review, he found a staggering 125,802 undercounted deaths for opioids and 39,304 undercounted deaths for heroin.
These findings do not necessarily apply to all states as there are multiple variables from state to state. Drug overdose disparities are great from one state to the other, with northeastern states such as West Virginia being among the highest in drug overdoses. However, this study on Florida drug overdoses is eye-opening and it shows the possibility that the opioid crisis may be much worse than we think.
The National Institutes of Health found that between 1999 and 2017 nearly 1 million people died from alcohol-related causes. Are these numbers being underestimated as well? How bad is the drug and alcohol problem in Florida? The truth is we are unsure and the best thing we can do now is to expand education, treatment, and harm reduction programs in Florida and across the United States.
Treating Drugs and Alcohol Addiction
At Level Up Lake Worth, we hope to help reduce the number of overdoses related to drug and alcohol addiction by providing quality holistic care to Floridians and people across the country. From detox to residential rehab and intensive outpatient treatment, we are here to provide the level of care each individual needs on their journey to recovery. Contact us today to get started on the road to recovery.