Drug Addiction In Florida – Stats and Facts

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Drug addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people worldwide, and Florida is no exception. The state has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic in recent years, with thousands of Floridians losing their lives to drug overdoses. However, drug addiction is not limited to just opioids. In fact, Florida has also seen increases in the abuse of other drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine. That being said, there is hope for those struggling with addiction in Florida, as the state has implemented prescription drug monitoring programs and increased access to addiction treatment services, including Adderall addiction treatment. In this article, we are going to go through the history of drug addiction in Florida and provide you with interesting stats and facts along the way. We will also touch base on the most common drugs in Florida, as well as offer insight into some of the best treatment options.

The history of drug addiction in Florida

Florida’s history of drug addiction can be traced back to the early 1900s when opium dens were prevalent in some of the state’s major cities. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s and 1940s that the use of illicit drugs became more widespread. During this time, cocaine and marijuana use began to increase, with many people turning to drugs as a means of escaping the difficulties of the Great Depression and World War II. The use of these drugs was largely seen as a moral failing, and those struggling with addiction were often stigmatized and punished rather than receiving help.

person covering their face with their hands
Rather than getting help, Floridian addicts were ostracized.

However, in 1951, Florida took a significant step toward addressing the problem of drug addiction. That year, the state passed the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which aimed to regulate the use of prescription drugs and crack down on drug trafficking. At this time, people could not find a suitable addiction treatment center in Florida, as no specialized treatment centers existed as of yet. The act marked a turning point in Florida’s approach to drug addiction, as it recognized addiction as a medical problem rather than a moral failing.

The FCDAPCA paved the way for greater access to addiction treatment services and a more compassionate approach to those struggling with addiction.

1951 – 1990

Following the passage of the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act in 1951, the state continued to make progress in addressing drug addiction. However, the 1960s and 1970s brought about new challenges. The counterculture movement of the 1960s brought with it a surge in drug use, particularly with the popularity of marijuana and LSD. The Vietnam War also played a role, as many soldiers became addicted to heroin while serving overseas. Furthermore, the 1980s saw the emergence of crack cocaine, which quickly became a major problem in urban areas throughout the state. The crack epidemic had devastating effects on families and communities, leading to increased crime and violence.

Governor’s Drug Council

That being said, Florida continued to take steps to address drug addiction during this time. In 1971, the state created the Governor’s Drug Council, which aimed to coordinate efforts to prevent and treat drug addiction. In 1988, the state passed the Florida Drug-Free Workplace Act, which required employers to establish drug-free policies and provide employees with information about drug addiction and treatment. During this period, alcohol rehab Florida centers also began to emerge as a way to combat the rise in alcohol abuse. These centers provided a safe and supportive environment for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction to receive treatment and support. The establishment of these centers was a crucial step in addressing the problem of alcohol abuse in the state.

Additionally, the state invested in the expansion of addiction treatment services, including the creation of community-based treatment programs and the establishment of addiction treatment centers throughout the state. Despite these efforts, drug addiction continued to be a major issue in Florida throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. However, the state’s ongoing commitment to addressing the problem set the stage for further progress in the years to come.

The 70s brought new challenges to overcome.

1990 – 2019

Throughout the 1990s and into the present, Florida continued to face significant challenges when it comes to drug addiction. One of the most notable developments in recent years has been the rise of prescription drug abuse, particularly with medications like opioids and benzodiazepines. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, pharmaceutical companies began heavily marketing these drugs, leading to a significant increase in their use. Unfortunately, this increase in use also led to a rise in addiction and overdose deaths. Needless to say, the question on everyone’s mind soon became “does insurance cover rehab?”. However, in response to the opioid epidemic, Florida has taken a number of steps to address prescription drug abuse.

For example, in 2010, the state passed the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which requires healthcare providers to report prescriptions for controlled substances. This has helped to curb “doctor shopping” and other forms of prescription drug abuse. Additionally, Florida has taken steps to increase access to addiction treatment, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction. MAT involves the use of medications like methadone and buprenorphine to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings, allowing individuals to focus on their recovery.

Furthermore, Florida has also implemented a number of harm reduction measures, such as expanding access to naloxone, a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses. In recent years, the state has also legalized medical marijuana, which has shown promise in treating a variety of conditions, including chronic pain and anxiety, which are often associated with drug addiction.

Drug addiction in Florida – Notable statistics

The state of Florida is usually known for some of the world’s finest beaches, glamourous nightlife, and, of course, Disney World. However, Florida is also one of the states with some of the highest rates of drug and alcohol use in the entire U.S.!

The most shocking Florida statistic is that around 8% of all Florida citizens are using illicit drugs. When we translate that into the actual number of residents, it turns out that one and a half million Floridians abuse illicit drugs at any given point in time. And that is just the start…

Here are some of the most shocking Florida drug addiction statistics:

Florida is second in the nation for overdose deaths,

With more than 7,500 people dying from a drug overdose in 2020. The only state that had more deaths was California, while the total number of overdose deaths in the entire country was more than 93,000.

person overdosing due to drug addiction in florida
Florida may not lead the country in overdose deaths, but the situation is dire.

Florida prescribes 10 times more oxycodone pills than all other states COMBINED. This is the most shocking statistic of them all. The numbers say that almost 85% of all oxycodone pills sold in the entire country come from Florida. Here are some other statistics:

  • Florida opioid drug deaths increased by 35% in 2020
  • Fentanyl was present in over 3,200 out of 5,000 overdose deaths in Florida.
  • In Pinellas County, fentanyl deaths have increased by 52% between 2019 and 2020.
  • Florida’s opioid overdose death rate has tripled since 2000.
  • Between 2011-2015, almost 100,000 deaths were attributed to alcohol abuse.

As we can see from the statistics, opioid addiction is on the rise. If we take a look at the history of drug addiction in Florida, this state of things is perfectly normal. Many Floridians are already used to obtaining their drugs one way or another, after all.

Alcoholism on the rise

Lastly, more than 24,000 people sought alcohol addiction treatment during the last year. The fact of the matter is that while other drugs take the spotlight, alcohol slowly ruins people, families, and relationships. This is why most of the people who decide to undergo alcohol addiction treatment are of 35 years of age or older, with some exceptions, of course. Florida might not be one of the “drunkest” states out there, but alcohol usually goes hand-in-hand with other drugs and substances.

The great Florida opioid epidemic

Did you know that more than half of Floridians who need help to manage their opioid dependency never get it? There are many reasons why this is the case, most of which involve a financial difficulty of one sort or another. Nonetheless, the fact of the matter is that the number of people in Florida that are currently addicted to opioids is overwhelming. Even though the government is trying to combat the epidemic through the introduction of programs and laws, it seems that much more needs to be done.

person holding an empty pink wallet
Being broke is what turns many people into substance abuse.

Orlando drug statistics

Many people believe that the metropolitan Orlando area is mostly free from addiction and suffering. However, that is as far from the truth as it gets. Here are some of the notable drug addiction and treatment statistics in the Orlando metropolitan area:

  • 0.2% of the total population receives addiction treatment
  • Most rehab admissions in the Orlando area are for alcohol, then opiates and synthetics. Marijuana used to be first in previous years.
  • More than 54% of people who were admitted to rehab used their drug of choice on a daily basis
  • Around 34% of addiction treatment patients finished high school, while almost 20% had a college education
  • About 80% of people in rehab said that it was their first time there, while 10% were there once before, and almost 5% twice before.
  • Most people that get addicted to a substance start using their drug of choice between 12-17 years of age.

As you can see, drug addiction is rampant even in metropolitan areas. While it is true that good economic status, living in a healthy family, etc. will make it more unlikely for people to turn to drugs, it is far from impossible. The issue with drug abuse is that once it “takes root”, it spreads and grows quite rapidly.

Most common drugs in Florida

As it is clearly evident, Florida has a significant drug problem, with numerous addictive substances plaguing the state. However, some drugs have a higher potential for abuse than others. The most commonly abused drugs in Florida include:

  • Marijuana
  • Prescription drugs
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Legal drugs (Alcohol and Tobacco)

These drugs can have devastating effects on individuals and their families. Fortunately, there are treatment options available, such as a partial hospitalization program Florida. Such programs provide intensive treatment and support for those struggling with drug addiction. It’s important to seek help if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to any of these drugs and to remember that recovery is possible with the right resources and support. With that in mind, understanding the drugs themselves will allow you to make decisions based on the information and not on fear or any other emotion. Let’s start with the #1 Florida drug:


Despite marijuana’s illegal status in the state of Florida, many people still use it recreationally, and the issue has sparked debate over the years. In 2016, Florida legalized medical marijuana, which was a significant shift in policy. This change allowed licensed doctors to prescribe marijuana for patients suffering from certain medical conditions, such as cancer, epilepsy, and glaucoma. Despite its usefulness in certain medical cases, marijuana is still illegal for recreational use in Florida, and possession of even small amounts can lead to significant legal consequences. Even despite the state’s strict laws and penalties for marijuana possession and use, it remains one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in Florida. According to a 2019 report by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 1.4 million Floridians over the age of 12 reported using marijuana in the past year.

medicinal marijuana
Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs in Florida.

For those struggling with marijuana addiction, there are various treatment options available in Florida, including residential drug treatment Florida programs. These programs offer a structured environment with 24-hour support and supervision, allowing individuals to focus on their recovery without outside distractions. It’s important to note that not all residential drug treatment programs in Florida may specialize in treating marijuana addiction specifically, so it’s important to research and choose a program that aligns with an individual’s needs and goals.

Overall, while the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida was a significant change in policy, recreational marijuana use remains illegal, and heavy use can have negative effects on an individual’s health and well-being.

Prescription drugs

Prescription drug addiction is a significant problem in Florida, with the state ranking among the highest in the country for prescription drug abuse. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Florida has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States. One of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in Florida is oxycodone, a powerful opioid painkiller. In response to the opioid epidemic, Florida implemented various measures to address the issue, including the creation of the prescription drug monitoring program, increased regulation of pain clinics, and the implementation of stricter penalties for doctors who overprescribe opioids.

Despite these efforts, prescription drug abuse remains a significant issue in the state, and the demand for treatment continues to rise. One popular treatment option for prescription drug addiction is Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs), such as those offered by facilities like IOP Palm Beach. IOPs provide a structured and supportive environment for individuals in recovery, offering counseling, therapy, and support groups to help patients achieve and maintain sobriety. However, it’s worth noting that treatment for prescription drug addiction can be expensive, and many people may struggle to afford the cost of treatment. Fortunately, some insurance plans cover addiction treatment, including IOPs like the aforementioned IOP Palm Beach. It’s important for individuals struggling with prescription drug addiction to explore their options for treatment and insurance coverage to ensure they receive the care they need.


Heroin addiction in Florida has been a significant issue for decades, with devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities. The opioid epidemic has hit Florida particularly hard, and heroin is a significant contributor to this crisis. The state has seen a sharp rise in heroin-related overdoses and deaths in recent years, highlighting the urgent need for effective heroin addiction treatment. Florida’s proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean, where much of the world’s heroin is produced, has contributed to the state’s heroin problem. Additionally, the rise of prescription opioid abuse in Florida and across the country has led many people to turn to heroin as a cheaper and more accessible alternative.

Heroin, representing the drug addiction in florida
Heroin is extremely addictive.

According to data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, heroin-related deaths in the state increased by more than 75% between 2014 and 2018. Furthermore, heroin was involved in over 1,400 overdose deaths in Florida in 2019 alone, accounting for more than a third of all opioid overdose deaths in the state that year.

Fortunately, there are effective heroin addiction treatment options available in Florida. Heroin rehab Florida centers provide evidence-based treatments such as medication-assisted therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and individual and group counseling to help individuals overcome heroin addiction. These programs can help people safely and effectively detox from heroin, manage withdrawal symptoms, and develop the skills and strategies needed to maintain long-term recovery.

It’s also worth noting that insurance may cover some or all of the cost of heroin addiction treatment in Florida. Most heroin rehab Florida centers accept insurance these days, and patients can also explore other payment options, such as payment plans or scholarships, if they don’t have insurance.


Cocaine addiction has long been a major problem in Florida. Despite ongoing efforts to combat drug abuse, cocaine remains one of the most frequently abused drugs in the state. In fact, the 2020 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey found that cocaine was the second most commonly used drug among high school students in the state. Furthermore, the effects of cocaine addiction can be devastating. Chronic cocaine use can lead to a variety of physical and mental health problems, including heart disease, stroke, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, cocaine addiction can cause financial and legal problems, damage relationships, and negatively impact the overall quality of life.

However, there is hope for those struggling with cocaine addiction in Florida. Inpatient rehab Florida facilities offer a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment, including detoxification, therapy, and aftercare support. These facilities provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to begin their journey toward recovery. That said, it is important to note that not all inpatient rehab facilities in Florida are created equal. It is crucial to do your research and choose a reputable and licensed facility that meets your individual needs and preferences. Additionally, it is important to consider insurance coverage for inpatient rehab in Florida. Many insurance plans offer coverage for addiction treatment, including inpatient rehab. This means that it is worth exploring your options and speaking with your insurance provider.

Overall, cocaine addiction continues to be a major problem in Florida, but inpatient rehab facilities offer a path toward recovery. It is important to do your research and choose a reputable facility, and consider insurance coverage for addiction treatment.

Alcohol and tobacco abuse in Florida

Alcohol and tobacco abuse are two of the most prevalent forms of substance abuse in Florida. Despite the well-known risks associated with heavy alcohol consumption and tobacco use, many Floridians continue to struggle with addiction to these substances. According to the Florida Department of Health, alcohol-related deaths in the state have been on the rise in recent years, with nearly 6,000 deaths reported in 2019. Additionally, excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death and injury in Florida, contributing to car accidents, violence, and other health issues.

person exploring the drug addiction in florida
Alcohol and tobacco are a dangerous combination.

Tobacco use is also a significant problem in Florida, with an estimated 17.6% of adults smoking cigarettes. The state has taken steps to combat this issue, including increasing taxes on tobacco products and implementing smoke-free workplace policies. However, the prevalence of tobacco use remains a concern, particularly among certain populations such as pregnant women and individuals with mental health conditions.

Both alcohol and tobacco addiction can have serious consequences for individuals and society as a whole. Those struggling with addiction to these substances can benefit from seeking professional help at a meth rehab Florida center or other addiction treatment facility in Florida. Meth rehab centers are as close as it gets to a specialized alcohol addiction treatment center, after all.

How to recover from drug addiction in Florida?

Drug addiction recovery in Florida is a challenging but achievable journey. Although it requires patience, determination, and hard work, the rewards are immeasurable. Recovery is a lifelong process that requires a holistic approach, addressing not only the physical symptoms of addiction but also the mental and emotional aspects as well. Furthermore, there are various drug addiction recovery programs available in Florida, ranging from inpatient to outpatient, depending on the severity of the addiction. Inpatient programs provide 24-hour care and support and are ideal for individuals with severe addiction who require intensive treatment. On the other hand, outpatient programs offer flexibility and allow individuals to continue their daily activities while receiving treatment.

With that in mind, one of the most critical aspects of drug addiction recovery is the aftercare program. Aftercare programs provide ongoing support and resources to individuals who have completed treatment, helping them to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. Additionally, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provide a supportive community and a sense of belonging to individuals in recovery. However, it’s essential to note that the success of drug addiction recovery depends on various factors, including the individual’s commitment, the severity of the addiction, and the support available to them.

There are two main types of treatment: Inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. There are options that are somewhere in the middle, of course, (IOP, for example) but the distinction remains largely the same.

Inpatient treatment

Inpatient addiction treatment, which requires the patient to reside in a treatment facility, is a crucial step for those struggling with substance abuse. It provides a structured and supportive environment where individuals can focus solely on their recovery. Furthermore, inpatient treatment offers a range of therapies and services to address the complex nature of addiction. From individual counseling to group therapy, patients have access to a variety of tools to help them achieve long-term sobriety.

However, it is important to note that inpatient treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each patient’s journey is unique, and treatment plans must be tailored to their individual needs. That being said, one of the most significant benefits of inpatient treatment is the opportunity for patients to immerse themselves in a community of peers who understand their struggles. This sense of community can be a powerful source of motivation and support throughout the recovery process. Additionally, inpatient treatment often includes aftercare planning to ensure that patients have a solid support system in place once they leave the facility. This can include ongoing therapy, participation in support groups, and access to resources to help them maintain their sobriety.

several people laughing together
Overcoming addiction is easier with peers.

Lastly, inpatient addiction treatment can be a life-changing experience for those struggling with substance abuse. With the right tools, support, and care, individuals can overcome their addiction and achieve a healthier, happier life.

Outpatient treatment

Outpatient addiction treatment is a type of addiction treatment that does not require the patient to reside in a facility. Instead, patients attend regular therapy sessions and other treatment programs while living at home or in a sober living environment. Furthermore, outpatient addiction treatment can be an effective option for individuals who have completed a higher level of care, such as inpatient or residential treatment, or for those who have mild to moderate addiction or substance abuse issues.

However, it may not be the best choice for individuals with severe addiction or those who require constant supervision and support to manage their substance use. That being said, outpatient addiction treatment offers a range of services, including individual and group therapy, medication management, and behavioral therapies. These services can help patients develop coping skills, improve their relationships, and address underlying issues related to addiction. Additionally, outpatient addiction treatment can be more flexible than other types of treatment, allowing patients to maintain their daily routines, work, and family responsibilities while still receiving the support they need to overcome addiction.

To put it in simple terms, outpatient addiction treatment is like a bridge between inpatient care and full independence. It provides a level of support and structure while still allowing patients to continue with their daily lives. Just like a bridge connects two places, outpatient treatment connects patients to the resources they need to achieve lasting recovery.

You are not alone!

The only way to stop drug addiction in Florida is to spread awareness relentlessly. With more and more people understanding exactly how dangerous drug abuse is, it is becoming easier to reach out and get the help (or help someone else) you need. Even so, drug addiction is like a dark cloud that can hover over your life, casting a shadow on everything you do. However, it’s very important to remember that you are not alone! There are millions of people struggling with addiction every day, and many of them are in Florida.

Furthermore, addiction is a disease that affects not only the body but also the mind and spirit. It’s like a vicious cycle that can be hard to break, but with the right treatment and support, it is possible. That being said, it’s important to take the first step toward recovery. Seeking help is like finding a light in the darkness, a beacon of hope that can guide you toward a better future.

Additionally, addiction is not a moral failing or a sign of weakness. It’s a complex issue that requires compassion and understanding. Just like any other disease, you might want to treat addiction with care and expertise. So if you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction in Florida, know that there is hope! Recovery is possible, and with the right support, you can break free from the chains of addiction and find your way back to the light!









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