West Palm Beach Drug Abuse Statistics and Local Treatment Guide

What should you do if you're living in West Palm Beach, and you're living with an addiction you can no longer hide or control? Asking for help from a qualified treatment program is your first step toward a healthier future. There are plenty of programs near you that can help you get the treatment you need.

We've gathered statistics about the drug abuse problem in Florida that might motivate you to get help, even if you've never done so before.

Where to Get Help

Your recovery is personal, and that makes choosing the right treatment organization crucial. You will want to find a program that offers treatments you can trust, delivered by professionals with training, at a price you can afford. These are a few organizations in or near West Palm Beach that might be able to help you.

  • Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network is a large organization that receives funding for substance abuse treatment from the Florida Department of Children and Families. While this organization does not provide treatment, it can refer you to providers that can help. This group offers assessments, case management, day treatment, inpatient care, and more. As a state-funded agency, this organization is meant to offer help to all Florida residents regardless of their ability to pay for care.
  • Florida Community Health Centers offer a similar level of treatment, and they are funded by the state. Here, you can get help from a primary care provider for any health issue you might be facing. Your doctor might refer you to an addiction program that can help, or they might manage your withdrawal and recovery process through a series of appointments.
  • The Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County offers a recovery program for addiction that is individualized, based on your history, your addiction, and your preferences. Outpatient treatment is available along with individual and group therapy. As a nonprofit organization, this center does not turn away patients for an inability to pay for care.
  • SalusCare is a not-for-profit organization that was developed due to the merger of two former nonprofit addiction treatment programs. This organization accepts Medicaid payments, and they will adjust fees based on income levels. Both inpatient care and outpatient care programs are available.
  • Palm Beach County Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous offers people with addiction the opportunity to meet with and learn from other people who have dealt with the issue. This is not a form of treatment, as it is not run by professionals, but it can help people with addiction to feel less alone in the struggle. There are many meetings held in West Palm Beach each day.
  • ACCESS Florida offers support for people in Florida struggling to make ends meet. You can connect with this organization to sign up for Medicaid, which might help you afford some forms of addiction care a bit easier. You can also use this program for food stamps and other forms of financial assistance if you are unable to work.

These are just a few of the nonprofit or state-run programs that are located close to you in West Palm Beach. There are many more in addition to a plethora of private treatment options. If you need addiction help, you can find it close to home.

Opioid pills on American flag background

What Drugs Are Popular in West Palm Beach?

Like much of Florida, West Palm Beach is dealing with an opioid crisis. Prescription drugs designed to combat pain also have the ability to create a spike of pleasurable chemicals in the brain, and when that happens, an addiction cycle can take hold.

People who develop an addiction to painkillers often need to take many of them every day in order to stave off symptoms of withdrawal. At some point, it becomes difficult to get enough drugs to keep the high going. When that happens, people may make a switch to harder drugs, such as fentanyl or heroin.

These powerful drugs can overwhelm a person's respiratory system, causing a coma-like state and then death. According to the Sun Sentinel, 70 people died in West Palm Beach alone due to overdoses of opioids. Those overdoses are blamed on prescription painkillers and synthetic heroin.

The Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association also reports that the prescription painkiller fentanyl is growing in popularity in West Palm Beach. This very powerful prescription medication can be injected for quick use, or it can be delivered through patches attached to the skin. In the first six months of 2017, 181 people in West Palm Beach died of overdoses due to fentanyl.

Homeless boy sitting on bridge

How Are Drugs Changing the Area?

Every person with an addiction touches other people in the community. A person with an addiction might find it hard to head to work regularly, and that could impact a business. A person struggling with addiction might let down family and friends, which causes sadness that can spread. And an addiction can be expensive, which can cause people to commit crimes to keep drug supplies up.

All of these issues are taking hold in West Palm Beach. Addictions are having a very public impact.

According to Politico Magazine, it is not uncommon to see people intoxicated on the streets in Palm Beach County. These people are abusing opiates like painkillers and heroin, and they know those drugs come with overdose risks. They choose to use these drugs in public in order to ensure that someone can step in and help them if they take too much and overdose. Reporters say that 5,000 overdose calls happened in the county in 2016, and close to 600 of them were fatal.

Living in a community like this means seeing the impact of addiction close at hand almost every day. It also means accessing drugs is easy. If people are using drugs out in the open, buying drugs from them should be easy. That ease of access is terrible for people trying to beat back an addiction.

Lawyer drafting a piece of legislature

How Is Your Community Responding?

At one point, Florida had the opportunity to jump in front of the addiction issue before it grew too large to contain. As an editorial in The Palm Beach Post points out, a bill that would have created a prescription-monitoring database was scrapped in 2002, and it wasn't revived until 2011. During that time, many people in Florida developed addictions that they still struggle with today. When the new legislation took hold, the drug cartels were prepared with heroin that they shipped into Florida for eager users.

If that original bill had passed on the first try, it may have changed the fate of hundreds or even thousands of Florida residents. The government did notice a need and the laws were changed, and this could perhaps save future residents from addiction.

The larger shift that seems to be happening in West Palm Beach involves recovery. Families are growing aware of the very real risks their loved ones face if they continue to use and abuse drugs, and they are growing bold in their demands for the people they love to get help. Families all across West Palm Beach are holding intervention conversations, seeking out treatment programs, and heading to meetings in order to save the people they love.

Each person who gets treatment in West Palm Beach is part of that healing movement. A person who gets treatment is demonstrating that the addiction does not need to take over the person's life. That person in recovery can spread the word about how treatment works, and they can persuade others to get the help they need.

If you are living with an addiction or you're watching someone you love struggle with addiction, you can be part of this recovery process. You can be someone who helps your community to heal. You can be part of the solution. Reach out for help today.

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References

Services. Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network.‍

Services. Florida Community Health Centers.‍

Recovery. Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County.‍

About SalusCare. SalusCare.‍

Meetings. Palm Beach County Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous.‍

ACCESS Florida. Florida Department of Children and Families.‍

Amid Opioid Crisis, a Look at Palm Beach County's Worst-Affected Cities. (December 2016). Sun Sentinel.

Patterns and Trends of Substance Use Within and Around the Regions of Florida. (June 2018). Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association.‍

The Heroin Crisis in Trump's Backyard. (July 2017). Politico Magazine.