The United States has been thrust into an opioid epidemic, affecting the nation’s public health as well as social and economic welfare. While it may be hard to believe, opioid misuse has been around for some time, with overdose death rates quadrupling since 1999. Opioids, which include prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl, killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, with nearly half of overdose deaths involving prescription opioids. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. The economic burden of opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, which includes the cost of healthcare, lost productivity, treatment, and criminal justice involvement. (more…)
As part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) did their part to help reduce the opioid crisis. The DEA joined with more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners to dispose of over 912,305 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs at 5,300 collection sites. Now in its eighth year, the event has allowed the DEA to collect over 4,508 tons of prescription drugs. (more…)
A recent article stated that to receive more insurance dollars, some South Florida treatment centers are focusing on relapse instead of patient recovery. Over the years there has been a rapid explosion in Florida of troubled treatment centers, group homes and sober homes where many addicts fall deeper into addiction. Florida has more sober homes per capita of any state and treatment centers are a $1 billion business in Palm Beach County alone, according to federal officials. (more…)
September is National Preparedness Month to focus on planning in the event of a disaster or emergency, and Lifeskills South Florida took that to heart with the approach of Hurricane Irma. From the moment the storm set its sights on the Florida coast, the Lifeskills team went into action, making client safety and well-being, and family communication the number one focus.
By: John Coleman, MSW, ACSW, Vice President of Clinical Services and Regulatory Compliance
South Florida regrettably has suffered from substance abuse programs and recovery residences that have engaged in unethical practices to lure individuals into certain treatment programs using patient “brokers,” inducements to clients, deceptive marketing, and the use of poorly supervised sober living homes. (more…)
Since 2013, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida has seen the number of overdoses from both fentanyl and heroin explode. Medical professionals and local officials in the Miami area are searching for ways to help get heroin users into treatment rather than serving jail time. In fact, this effort has caught on nationwide.
If you tried to paint a picture of an addict in your mind, you may automatically picture them as an irresponsible person that made poor life choices, as homeless or a criminal that’s deceitful and deviant. Those ideas couldn’t be further from the truth. Addiction doesn’t know a person’s age, gender, race, values or income. This terrible disease affects individuals from all walks of life.
Cunning, baffling and powerful are the words used to describe the disease of addiction. On September 5, 2015, CNN published a story depicting the latest trend for covert drug use, vapor pens. A vapor pen, also known as an e-cigarette, heats a liquid substance that in turn is inhaled. The beauty for cigarette smokers is that the vapor pen creates a steam instead of smoke which makes it easier to hide the habit. Police in Deerfield, Florida are finding more and more illegal substances being smoked using vapor pens, because of its non-detectable odor. “Thirty three people have died in Broward County from synthetic drug use, some involving vapor pens.” Additionally, mental health facilities in south Florida are seeing an increase in admissions from those who have psychotic symptoms as a result of smoking synthetic drugs. (more…)