According to the most recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 8.32% of the residents of Florida reported using illicit drugs in the past month – the national average was 8.82%.
Additionally, it was found that 3.09% of Floridians have used an illicit drug other than marijuana in the past one month – and the national average stood at 3.33%. In 2010, 3,181 people died as a direct result of drug use in the state. This means that 16.9 per 100,000 of the population died due to drug use – the national rate was 12.9 per 100,000 of the population.
According to HealthGrove, the drug use trend in Orlando, Florida had increased by 11.5% from the previous five years in 2012. This means that the misuse of drugs is prevalent and is an important issue that needs to be addressed. In the Orlando area, the drug with the highest number of rehab admissions is marijuana at 28.8%. Alcohol is second at 25.2%, while opiates and synthetic drugs take third place at 23.0%.
54.6% of those admitted to Orlando drug treatment centers used their drug of choice on a daily basis. Of those in treatment, 60.9% were abusing one substance, 22.0% were abusing two drugs and 15.4% were abusing three substances. It should be noted that addicts commonly use alcohol or other drugs with their primary drug of choice.
In Orlando, 92.3% of people suffer from a psychiatric disorder along with substance abuse issues, compared with 67.5% nationally. Known as co-occurring issues, it is important for drug users to seek treatment from a center that can treat both of the issues.
Drug-Related Crime in Florida
According to data from Federal-wide Drug Seizure System (FDSS) from 1997 through 2001, Florida’s federal law enforcement officials seized a total of 134,502 kg of marijuana, 72 kg of cocaine, 2,071 kg of heroin and 339 kg of methamphetamine.
The percentage of drug-related federal sentences in the state is higher than the nationwide percentage. According to data from the US Sentencing Commission in FY of 2001, 48.9% of federal sentences in Florida state, were drug-related – the national percentage was 41.2. Nearly 60% of the drug-related federal sentences in the state involved powdered or crack cocaine.
Statistics reveal that the overall crime rate in Orlando, Florida is 114% higher than the national average. For every 100,000 people in the city, 16.6 crimes occur every day.
Drug Treatment in Orlando
Known as the Sunshine State, Florida has had its share of drug problems over the years. Many residents report using drugs and a large number of them have sought treatment for their drug abuse and addiction. In 2012, over 50,000 children, youth and adults were served treatment in drug rehab centers in the state.
In the age group 17 or younger, 83.9% reported treatment received in the public mental health system helped improve functioning. Among mental health patients aged 18 and older, 85.5% reported that they felt better after treatment.
Statistics have also revealed that Florida has the 11th highest mortality rate involving drug overdoses in the United States. The drug-induced death rate in the state is higher than the national average. The need for drug abuse treatment in Florida is huge.
Less than 10% of people in Florida over the age of 12 received treatment for dependence on or abuse of alcohol. Only 13.7% of people in Florida over the age of 12 received treatment for dependence or abuse of illicit drugs.
Cocaine in Florida
Cocaine is again becoming a major drug issue in Florida after the height of the drug wars in Miami in the 1980s. According to reports, Customs and Border Protection in the state confiscated 4,200 pounds of cocaine in 2016, compared to 1,730 pounds in 2015.
The state Medical Examiner Commission reported that overdoses related to cocaine are their highest in Florida since 2007. According to the latest figures available, deaths caused by cocaine overdose increased year over year from 2012 to 2015 – increasing from 1,318 to 1,834 deaths.
Cocaine abuse is frequently cited in deaths related to drugs in Florida. According to the Florida Medical Examiners’ 2001 Report of Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons, in 2001, there were 1,105 cocaine-related deaths in the state. Of these, 390 were cocaine overdoses. The areas in Florida with the highest number of cocaine-related deaths were Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach and Orlando.
Cocaine Laws in Florida
For decades, the geographical location of Florida has made it a popular destination for importing drugs. But perhaps there is no other has shaped this part of the US the way cocaine has. It is no surprise that possession of this illicit drug is a serious offense in the state. Possession of over 28 grams of cocaine is considered trafficking and a first-degree felony. However, first time offenders of cocaine-possession with small amounts can sometimes qualify for diversion programs.
The basic provisions of cocaine laws in Florida are as follows:
Code Section: 775.082, et seq.; 893.01, et seq. that covers:
Possession of Drugs: 3rd degree felony; possession of 28 grams is trafficking – a 1st degree felony.
Sale of Drugs: 2nd degree felony – that included penalties that are more severe if the offender is caught near a school
Trafficking: All sentencing must be done pursuant to the state guidelines for sentencing:
- 28 to 200 grams: 3 years in prison and $50,000 fine
- 200 to 400 grams: 7 years in prison and $100,000 fine
- 400 to 150 kg.: 15 years in prison and $250,000 fine
- Over 150 kg.: Potential life imprisonment
As is the case with other illicit substances, cocaine is regulated at the state as well as federal level. Federal drug laws put a restriction on everything from mere possession of the drug all the way up to trafficking and distribution, and cultivation and manufacturing.
Severe penalties can be given for general convictions towards drug offenses, cocaine in particular, which depends on whether the defendant has had prior drug convictions as well as the quantity or amount of drugs involved.
In some cases, prosecutors may also offer lower-level first time offenders plea bargains in exchange for assistance and cooperation in building legal cases against higher-level dealers and producers. Additionally, there are specialized “drug courts” in some jurisdictions that can help defendants charged with drug crimes avoid prison in lieu of treatment and other options.
The main goal of these drug courts is to avoid relapse, provide treatment to drug addicts, and also provide rehabilitation to drug offenders without having to send them to prison. Often, they involve drug testing on a regular basis, check-ins with the assigned probation officers and ongoing services for addiction.
Effects of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system. In fact, the drug is so powerful that it has been associated with addictions. Users can sniff, smoke or swallow cocaine. Once it enters the body, it crosses into the bloodstream and makes its way up to the tissues of the brain, and then amends the brain’s chemical content.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is released by brain cells in response to a pleasurable activity, such as having a happy conversation or eating good food. The brain typically releases dopamine in small bursts, and the brain cells pick up what they can in the following few seconds. Other brain tissues recycled whatever is not picked up.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), cocaine disrupts this pattern in two ways. First, it augments the amount of released dopamine, which means that users feel a bigger boost of pleasure and euphoria with the drug than they might feel with natural methods. It enhances everything. Next, cocaine prevents the recycling of dopamine so that happiness lasts longer. For some, it goes on for a very long period of time.
Unfortunately, those tweaks are unnatural and abnormal, and the brain can adjust to them. This means that repeated users of cocaine may become immune to the drug’s power. They may not feel anything at all when they take it. As time passes, they may also stop feeling any pleasure from the real world. They can only feel pleasure from the big stuff that is provided by cocaine, and it seems like natural sources do not do anything at all.
In addition to this brain damage, cocaine can also cause a disruption of all of the body tissues that it comes into contact with. The drug tends to shrink and tighten blood vessels, and as time passes, the tissues depending on these vessels for blood supply can shrivel up and die.
There are suggestions that snorting cocaine can result in lesions, tumors and trauma to the mouth, palette and nose. This type of damage may require surgical correction. According to the Mayo Clinic, cocaine users who swallow the drug could experience intestinal problems, which could be life-threatening. Starved of blood, intestines can bunch up and block flow. In other cases, they can grow thin and weak, which in turn could cause them to burst.
Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal
People who are addicted to cocaine may attempt to get sober, and when they do, they can display withdrawal symptoms. According to the National Library of Medicine, these symptoms can include the following:
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Disturbed sleep
- Increased appetite
- Depression or anxiety
- Inability to feel pleasure, or anhedonia
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Physical symptoms, including nerve pain, muscle aches, chills, and tremors
If these symptoms appear and are then suddenly replaced with energy and euphoria, it is a sign that cocaine use may be in the picture.
Getting Treatment for Cocaine in Orlando, Florida
While it is true that the temptation to return to cocaine use can linger for many years, even after a user has completed a formal treatment program, it does not mean that addiction to the drug is permanent. Recovery is possible. Many people recover successfully from cocaine addiction on a regular basis and go on to lead healthy, normal lives. With the right treatment center in Orlando, Florida, you can overcome your cocaine addiction and live a happy, drug-free life.
Before entering a drug treatment center, it is important to make sure that you find the right program to suit your needs and issues. Keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” drug program. Every patient has unique needs and issues that need to be addressed. You also have to consider co-occurring conditions as the facility you enter should be able to treat both your addiction and the co-occurring condition you have.
Drug Assessment Process
The first step to getting the right treatment for your cocaine addiction is the drug assessment process. This is a simple yet vital process that helps professionals in providing you with the help you need from the right drug treatment plan.
The assessment process is basically an interview conducted by a physician or a member of the drug treatment facility when you check into the center. You will find a number of drug assessment options in Orlando, and these services are available online or via phone. You can also meet with counselors or therapists in person to go through the assessment.
The assessment may be conducted by any trained professional, such as a doctor, nurse, psychologist, therapist, counselor or social worker. The purpose of this process is to determine if you have an addiction, the extent of your addiction, whether you have any co-occurring conditions or addiction, etc.
You will be given a standardized questionnaire that asks about your current drug use, symptoms, history of health and treatment, patterns of behavior, and how your drug use has had an impact on your life.
You may also be referred to a physician for a medical evaluation, which typically involves a physical examination. The doctor will also check to determine if you have any co-occurring condition. If you do, the physician will diagnose the condition so that the drug treatment providers can tailor a treatment plan that addresses not only your cocaine addiction but also the co-occurring condition.
The drug assessment process is a straightforward process that is conducted in private settings. Any information you provide is kept confidential and only used to design a drug treatment plan that is specifically suited to your unique needs.
After the assessment process, the next is the pre-intake process in which you will need to fill out a form. The professional conducting this process will also provide you with a list of necessary documents and personal items you must bring to the treatment center.
Like the assessment, the pre-intake is a process that is used to make sure that you get the right treatment in Orlando for your cocaine addiction.
The information you provide will be used to customize a treatment plan that addresses your unique issues and needs. What this process does is give drug treatment providers a better understanding of your needs and issues so that the best plan can be provided to you so your chances of a successful recovery from cocaine addiction is maximized.
The intake process is an interview with the staff of the drug treatment center you are entering in Orlando for your cocaine addiction. A physician, or another professional working at the center, will ask you a number of questions, such as:
- What drugs you are currently taking, how long you have been taking them, where you get them, etc.
- If you are, or supposed to be, on any medications
- Whether you have been diagnosed with any mental health condition
- Your family status, i.e., whether you are married, if you have any children, etc.
- How your cocaine addiction has impacted your family life as well as your social, academic or professional life
- Whether there is any history of substance abuse or addiction in your family
- Whether there is a history of mental health disorders in your family
- If you have treatment for your addiction in the past, and how many times
- If you have a criminal history
- What prompted you to get treatment, e.g., an intervention, an ultimatum by your spouse, job loss, court order, etc.
A lot of times, people are embarrassed or ashamed to answer some questions, especially when it comes to their addiction, criminal past, mental health, etc. It may be tempting to be less than truthful when asked certain questions, but keep in mind that the intake process is 100% confidential and like the other process, the information you provide is only used to put together a personal and effective treatment plan for you.
For instance, knowing about the requirement or presence of prescription medication will have a great influence on the choice of medication that will be administered during the detoxification process. Similarly, looking out for symptoms of and asking about mental health conditions will impact the direction of treatment, especially when you complete detox and begin psychotherapy.
The ability of the body to process and eliminate toxins from the system is known as detoxification or detox. Similar to withdrawal symptoms, it is not possible to predict the length of detox as it is affected by many individual factors related to the user’s abuse of cocaine.
Overall, symptoms of cocaine detox will emerge within 24 hours after the last use and continue for anywhere between 3 to 5 days, although you should bear in mind that some symptoms can persist for a number of weeks.
There are two basic types of detox where the focus of treatment is on monitoring symptoms and providing the patient with a safe environment. To detox safely and comfortably and avoid the undesirable effects of withdrawal from cocaine, it is best to opt for professional detox. Detox options for cocaine are available in:
- Outpatient settings: For those with limited risks and strong supports, outpatient detox is a good option. This type of treatment allows the individual to maintain their routine lifestyle, attend treatment and return home. Outpatient detox is available at community addiction treatment centers or doctor’s offices.
- Inpatient settings: The best fit for those with low supports and high risk, inpatient detox is the best option. Patients receive 24-hour care and monitoring of their vital signs by a team of trained medical professionals. This type of treatment is available in hospitals and residential treatment programs (RTPs). Inpatient detox can last days, weeks, or even months, depending on the specific needs of the user and their level of withdrawal symptoms.
Although many people think that they can detox at home, keep in mind that it is best to get the treatment in an inpatient setting. This can be a difficult, and dangerous, process to get through, which is why it is important to have an experienced team available to help with detox.
You should also remember that detox provides a strong foundation for recovery, but it is not a substitute for treating substance abuse. You will need to attend a professional drug treatment program for your cocaine addiction if you want long-term recovery and live a drug-free life.
Types of Drug Treatment Centers in Orlando, Florida
When you need treatment for cocaine abuse or addiction in Orlando, Florida, you have many options to choose from. There are two basic types of drug treatment facilities – inpatient and outpatient. You can choose the type of drug treatment center based on your personal case – your needs, the co-occurring condition or addiction, you have (if any), etc.
Both inpatient and outpatient facilities have their own benefits and are known to be effective in helping drug users overcome their addiction and helping them start a new life without drugs.
Inpatient Treatment Center
One of the options you have is the inpatient treatment center, also known as residential treatment program (RTP), when you want to treat your cocaine addiction. These facilities offer round-the-clock care from a team of trained and experienced professionals, including a medical staff.
In an RTP, you will need to stay in the center for a period of time, depending on the extent of your addiction. If you have abused cocaine for a prolonged period, you will more than likely need to stay in the drug treatment center for an extended period, probably several months.
In an inpatient treatment center, you will participate in group, family and individual counseling sessions, group and individual therapy, and some centers have 12-step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). There are also educational and vocations classes that patients can take part in to help them when they leave the facility and go back to normal life.
There are inpatient treatment facilities that do not have 12-step programs. Some users prefer such programs while others prefer having the support that these 12-step programs offer and having other people in the program to talk to and who will understand exactly what they are going through.
Outpatient Treatment Center
An outpatient treatment program (OTP) is one where you can live at home and perform your daily responsibilities while receiving treatment for your addiction. There are sessions scheduled throughout the week and you are required to attend them. Like inpatient programs, you have counseling sessions and therapy. You receive medication, if you are prescribed any by the physician in the program.
An outpatient treatment center provides not only scheduled sessions that you need to attend, but also additional services that patients might need, such as medical services. Some OTPs offer art and music therapy as well.
Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are also available, but these are usually best for those who have completed drug treatment in an RTP. They provide the support and stability that recovering addicts need when they leave an inpatient drug treatment center so that they can continue their journey to recovery and avoid relapse. An IOP empowers you to live independently with much-needed support from your family as well as the community.
As mentioned earlier, if you are a long-term cocaine user, your best chance at recovery is in an inpatient drug treatment facility where all the services and equipment required to successfully treat your addiction are available.
Get the Best Help in Orlando for Addiction
If you are a cocaine user who wants to get clean, you will be glad to know that there are many drug treatment centers in Orlando, Florida that you can trust to help you.
These centers provide tailored treatment plans that are designed to specifically help you overcome your addiction. They have trained and experienced professionals to help you through each step of the way to recovery. You will be given the care and support you need as well as the expertise to address your individual needs and issues.
No matter how long you have been abusing cocaine, you can be sure that the treatment centers in Orlando can help you get clean and stay clean. There is a program out there for you that can help you take the first step on the road to recovery and begin your journey to living a healthy, happy, drug-free life. Take back control of your life with the best Orlando drug treatment center for you.