There are approximately 18,801,310 people that currently reside in Florida as of 2010. Drug and alcohol abuse in Florida is a growing problem.
Alcohol Abuse in Florida
Out of the 18,801,310 people residing in Florida, 8,648,603 do not consume alcohol and 5,076,354 report that they drink alcohol once a week or less. So, 13,536,943 people in Florida do not drink at a level that would be considered unhealthy or abusive. However, 4,700,328 people in Florida drink enough alcohol on a regular basis to be considered abusers of alcohol.
Getting yourself or someone you love into an alcohol treatment center is vital to recovering from alcohol abuse. There are 75,000 alcohol related deaths each year with an annual economic cost of 184 billion dollars.
Studies on the effects of alcohol advertising on adults in the state of Florida do not show a strong connection between alcohol advertisements and alcohol consumption. However, studies on the effects of alcohol advertising consistently indicate that children in Florida that are exposed to these types of advertisements are more likely to have a favorable attitude toward drinking alcohol and are more likely to become underage drinkers and communicate the intention to most likely drink as an adult.
Drug Abuse Statistics in Florida
Approximately 1,767,323 people in Florida abuse some type of illegal drug.
A breakdown of this percentage shows the following:
- 314,584 people abuse alcohol and another drug in Florida
- 284,539 people abuse marijuana in Florida
- 242,123 people are addicted to or abuse Heroin in Florida
- 174,965 people smoke cocaine (crack) in Florida
- 153,757 people use stimulants in Florida
- 74,228 people use or abuse Opiates (not heroin), in Florida
- 70,693 people use cocaine (e.g., cocaine powder, not crack cocaine) in Florida
- 7,069 people in Florida abuse tranquilizers
- 3,711 people use or abuse PCP in Florida
- 3,535 people in Florida are addicted to or abusing sedatives
- 1,944 people use hallucinogens such as lsd or ecstasy in Florida
- 1,767 people in Florida abuse Inhalants
- 8,837 people use some other type of illegal drug in the state of Florida
With such a large number of people in Florida abusing drugs or alcohol, it is critical to help these individuals get into some type of drug or alcohol treatment program. Addictionca.com provides a wide range of information on all types of drug and alcohol facilities in Florida. If you need further information, you can call and speak to one of our registered drug counselors for assistance in finding a drug and/or alcohol treatment facility. These services are provided free of charge and the call is toll-free.
Each drug rehab in Florida has a different approach to the recovery process. Take note of what is important to you, and make decisions based on your personal needs. Keep in mind that in Florida there are a multitude of treatment options to choose from: outpatient treatment, in patient treatment, support groups, drug rehabilitation, alcohol rehab, drug treatment programs, sober living, halfway houses, long term treatment, short term treatment, counseling, and many more. An individual can become thoroughly confused by asking a half-dozen recovering alcoholics or drug addicts in Florida how they conquered their abuse of alcohol or drugs; the answers vary although each of them are convincing and emotional. They will cite such diverse approaches as hospitalization, diet, exercise, counseling, sauna's, religion, hypnosis, amino acids and self-help groups. When it comes to successful treatment, only one thing is certain: practically any approach will work for some of the people, some of the time. To put it another way, successful drug rehabilitation is like a designer suit- it's got to be tailor-made for each individual. A great deal of variation exists in the degree of dependence among drug users. The teenager who smokes marijuana three times a week is not as dependent as the thirty year old who has smoked marijuana six times a day for 15 years and has already relapsed after being in two drug rehabilitation centers. It's obvious that these individuals need different approaches to treatment. Similarly, among cocaine users are some who use it in binge fashion, one or two days a month, and others who use it several times each day. Again, different treatment approaches are required for each case.
For those who do not have a long history of drug addiction, an outpatient treatment program might be the correct decision. This form of treatment may be a viable solution for those who have a brief drug addiction history. These individuals might only need the guidance and counseling available though this method of treatment. On the other hand, those who have experienced an extended period of drug addiction, choosing the correct drug rehab program typically means that they should enter into an in patient drug rehab program not located in Florida. The structure, 24-hour support and change of enviornment made available through this type of drug rehab recovery program can be highly effective for those recovering from a long term drug addiction problem. Most drug rehab professionals in do not recommend any one "best" treatment approach, recognizing the many variations among drug and alcohol abusers. In general, the levels of treatment range from simple and behavioral to complex and medical. The person dependent upon drugs or alcohol may have used the chosen substance for so long that he or she has literally forgotten how to cope with the daily challenges of life; how to have a meaningful, drug-free lifestyle; or how to solve the social or psychological problems that prompted the substance abuse in the first place. In these instances, a very comprehensive approach must be prescribed if the individual is to expect any degree of successful recovery. Once stability is achieved, the "clean" or sober individual can take several steps to enhance recovery and avoid relapse. Among the general recommendations are belonging to a group as a support system, having a religious involvement, practicing good health habits; including proper diet, sleep, and exercise, as well as goal planning and self enhancement projects.
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Florida State Facts
Florida Population: 18,801,310
Law Enforcement Officers in Florida: 44,984
Florida Prison Population: 132,000
Florida Probation Population: 294,281
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 2
2004 Federal Drug Seizures in Florida
Cocaine: 14,329.7 kgs.
Heroin: 445.1 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 36.9 kgs.
Marijuana: 11,335 kgs.
Ecstasy: 105,319 tablets
Clandestine Laboratories: 215 (DEA, state, and local)
Florida Drug Situation: Florida is a prime area for international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, and a principal thoroughfare for cocaine and heroin transiting to the northeastern United States and Canada. The over 8,000 miles of Florida coastline, and the short distance of 45 miles between The Bahamas and Florida provide virtually unlimited opportunities for drug trafficking organizations to use maritime conveyances to smuggle drugs. Miami International Airport (MIA), which is a gateway for heroin and MDMA trafficking in Florida, continues to be the number one airport in the U.S. for international freight and number three in the world for total freight. South Florida, specifically Miami-Dade and Broward counties, are still favorite areas of drug traffickers for the smuggling of large quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the continental United States (CONUS) from South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Smuggling occurs via various types of maritime conveyances and cargo freighters, as well as via private and commercial aircraft. Additionally, there is a continued shift to ground transportation (e.g. bus, rail and vehicle) as a means of transporting narcotics throughout the state and to northern destinations. Miami is the primary domestic command & control center for Colombian narcotics traffickers. Colombian traffickers represent the greatest international threat to the Miami Field Division (MFD). MFD enforcement groups continue to target the transportation infrastructure of Colombian traffickers in the Eastern Pacific, the Caribbean and within Florida. Florida leads the nation in MDMA seizures. South Florida has been identified as a primary gateway for MDMA smuggling into the CONUS. The MFD will target specific enforcement initiatives towards the identification and dismantling of groups operating in Florida, with emphasis on South Florida. MIA is a major entry point for South American heroin into the United States. Presently the overwhelming majority of South American heroin enters the CONUS via MIA. Methamphetamine remains a large problem in the MFD and is the primary drug of concern in Central Florida.
Cocaine in Florida: Cocaine is readily available in multi-kilogram amounts throughout Florida and remains the primary drug of choice. South American trafficking organizations dominate the importation and distribution of cocaine in Florida. Smuggling via the use of go-fast vessels and pleasure craft, primarily from The Bahamas, and commercial cargo remains the biggest trafficking threat in the MFD. The Caribbean serves as a major transit zone for cocaine from Central and South America into Florida. Mexican nationals continue to be the primary cocaine distribution groups throughout the Florida Panhandle. These groups transport their cocaine in passenger vehicles from the U.S. southwest border areas. Miami is the primary source for the cocaine found in the Jacksonville area. Couriers transport the drug via Interstate-95 from South Florida. The vast majority of the cocaine available in Fort Myers and Naples comes from Miami via couriers in private automobiles utilizing Interstate-75. Interdiction arrests and seizures indicate that traffickers from Sarasota to Tampa are also utilizing Interstate-75 from Miami.
Crack Cocaine in Florida: Crack cocaine continues to be available throughout Florida and remains a drug of choice for many throughout the state. Cocaine HCl powder from sources in Miami continues to be converted into crack in other areas of the state. Local conversion of cocaine powder into crack makes it highly available in southwest and northern Florida. Crack cocaine remains a problem statewide in lower socio-economic areas. Crack cocaine is the most serious drug problem in the Orlando area and abuse remains high. Most of the cocaine HCl brought into the Orlando area is converted into crack. After being converted to crack, the cocaine is sold locally in the Orlando metropolitan area and transported northward to Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas and the Atlantic coast areas of the U.S. Cocaine, both crack and HCl, are readily available throughout the Jacksonville area, however crack cocaine poses the most serious threat to the region. The distribution and usage of crack is linked to an extensive amount of criminal activity and has placed economic burdens on the community. Cocaine is regularly transported to Jacksonville in private and commercial vehicles along Interstate-95 from South Florida. The cocaine is either converted into crack and distributed, or is broken down, adulterated and sold to drug distribution organizations based in northeast Florida, South Georgia, Alabama, and the Carolinas.
MDMA (Ecstasy) in Florida: Florida leads the nation in MDMA seizures and international traffickers continue to use south Florida as a base of operations for the importation and distribution of MDMA. Almost half of the seizures in Florida occur at MIA. Couriers on international flights originating from non-source countries (i.e. the Netherlands and Germany) attempt to smuggle MDMA through MIA. Non-source countries include the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the Dominican Republic. Miami remains the primary source location for MDMA trafficking in Florida. MDMA continues to be widely available and used in the club scene in South Florida (Miami to Fort Lauderdale). Large-scale MDMA groups operate in the Tampa Bay area. MDMA, in multi-thousand dosage units, is shipped into Tampa/St. Petersburg from Germany and The Netherlands. Additionally, the international airports of Tampa and Orlando, plus the two major highway arteries to the Miami area make the acquisition of MDMA an easy task. MDMA arrives in the Fort Myers area from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. MDMA is popular among the club scene in Fort Myers. Central Florida's "rave scene," nightclubs and tourist atmosphere provide a constant market for MDMA and MDMA continues to grow in popularity with high school and college age individuals. Bulk quantities of MDMA in the Orlando area are shipped, mailed, or smuggled via courier from Western Europe, usually Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain or the United Kingdom. A majority of the MDMA found in Jacksonville is brought into the area from Orlando, South Florida or directly from Europe. MDMA is extremely popular in Jacksonville, especially among teenagers and young adults and most distributors tend to be college students. Sources of supply originate in The Netherlands and shipments are received via mail. Some MDMA is brought into the area from sources in South and Central Florida and is delivered in personal vehicles. Additionally, "spring break" activities in the Panhandle are a prime time for MDMA sales and usage and reports indicate that users are becoming younger.
Heroin in Florida: Heroin remains readily available throughout Florida, with the highest concentrations in the southern and central parts of the state. MIA is a major gateway for South American heroin distribution throughout the northeast United States. The primary method in which South American heroin is smuggled into Florida is through the use of couriers on commercial flights. The couriers ingest the heroin in quantities up to 1 kilogram. South American heroin is prevalent in the Tampa Bay area. Sources of supply are predominantly from Miami and Orlando. The vast majority of heroin in the Fort Myers area is supplied from Miami and transported overland in multi-ounce quantities by couriers. Most of the heroin activity in Fort Myers/Naples is street-level. Heroin is a serious drug problem in the Orlando metropolitan area. The majority of the heroin in Central Florida is South American in origin, and Puerto Rico is one of the transshipment points between South America and Orlando. Heroin trafficking within the Jacksonville area is almost exclusively Colombian in origin. Heroin is transported from the Miami area via private and commercial vehicles to Jacksonville for further distribution.
Methamphetamine in Florida: The Tampa Bay area is the focal point of all methamphetamine distribution and abuse within Florida. Methamphetamine is transported into Florida, in multi-pound increments, by Mexican/California drug trafficking organizations based in California and Texas. Mexican traffickers have become entrenched in Central Florida. The Mexican organizations make use of this migrant pipeline to move methamphetamine. Aside from the Mexican organizations, clandestine methamphetamine lab seizures have taken an explosive upturn in Florida. These clandestine labs tend to be small "mom and pop" operations, but taken as a whole they represent a growing danger. The trafficking of methamphetamine has increased considerably in the Jacksonville area. As in other areas of the state, labs were small but highly toxic. Many were found in hotel rooms and trucks. Investigations conducted in Pensacola indicate that out-of state methamphetamine manufacturers seek precursor chemicals in northwest Florida. Methamphetamine produced in super labs from Texas and California transits the area along the Interstate-10 corridor. The abuse of crystal methamphetamine is also a problem. The Southeast Regional Lab (SERL) reports that crystal methamphetamine averages above 80% in purity and is showing up in South Florida clubs, where users are known to mix usage with MDMA. There has also been a significant increase in crystal methamphetamine use within the homosexual community in South Florida, specifically Fort Lauderdale. Intelligence has also indicated that Mexican-produced crystal methamphetamine is distributed in South Florida via California. The primary distribution method utilized by these organizations has been parcel delivery. Methamphetamine abuse continues to increase throughout the central and northern parts of the state. Methamphetamine abuse in northwest Florida is increasing. Methamphetamine abuse also continues to rise in the Orlando area, and has been commensurate with an increase in the number of clandestine laboratories seized in the area.
Club Drugs in Florida: MDMA is the most readily available dangerous drug throughout Florida. LSD remains available, however seizures are rare. GHB is also readily available in Florida, especially in and around colleges and universities. MDMA is found at rave parties in all parts of Florida and is frequently used in conjunction with other illegal and/or prescription drugs. GHB is commonly abused in Florida, as well as two precursors - GBL and Butanediol (BD).
Marijuana in Florida: Marijuana, both domestically grown and imported, is readily available throughout the Florida. Domestic indoor cultivation is a significant industry throughout Florida. The availability of plant hot houses and large commercial nurseries allow traffickers ready access to the necessary equipment for indoor grow operations, particularly in southwest Florida. The Fort Myers RO reports that growers are aware of federal threshold limits and are growing less than 100 plants per grow to reduce the risk of federal penalties. Marijuana is imported into the Jacksonville area from the U.S. southwest border, Canada and Jamaica, by every available transportation method. The Panhandle region continues to be a transit area for marijuana from Mexico. Seizures continue along Interstate-10 from trucks, rental vehicles and trailers traveling east into Florida. Mexican commercial grade marijuana continues to be brought into the Orlando area from the southwest border. It is concealed in hidden compartments in passenger cars and large commercial vehicles, in luggage on commercial air flights or concealed within freight shipments.
Drug Diversion in Florida: Pharmaceutical drugs remain widely available throughout Florida, especially OxyContin and Xanax. Preliminary reports from the Florida medical examiners showed that during the first six months of CY 2003 there were 292 oxycodone-related deaths in the state. This contrasts with a total of 589 oxycodone-related deaths for all of CY 2002. OxyContin was the most commonly abused pharmaceutical drug in Florida, but restrictions placed upon OxyContin availability are believed to be responsible for the increase in methadone abuse. Diversion within Florida occurs through indiscriminate prescribing, prescription forgery and theft. Additional methods, which have been especially prevalent in OxyContin incidents, include doctor hopping, pharmacy robberies and prescription fraud (where extra copies of a prescription are made and taken to different pharmacies). Diversion via the Internet continues to emerge as a primary method of trafficking and is the basis of several investigations. Internet diversion occurs through fraudulent prescriptions.
Money Laundering in Florida: South Florida continues as the major center for financial institutions in Florida. Miami ranks number one in the volume of commercial banks, thrift and foreign corporations that are chartered by the Federal Reserve to engage in international banking. Examinations of cash flows within the banking system do not distinguish the origins of money as legitimate or illegitimate, but rather illustrate recorded money movements. Organizations utilizing the black market peso exchange system as a way to launder money continue to operate in Florida, particularly in South Florida. Organizations utilizing this system receive large sums of money from various individuals as payment for products they sell. The majority of the merchandise is then exported to Colombia, with portions sometimes sent to other countries. Some of the businesses involved in the sale of merchandise have been identified by law enforcement as being exporters of bulk currency to Colombia. Bulk currency shipments remain a common method of laundering narcotics proceeds from the United States back to source countries. On average, currency amounts range from $10,000 to $1 million and are often delivered to businesses for shipment in legitimate exported cargo. This has been a common method utilized to export narcotics proceeds back to drug traffickers. Another common method of money laundering remains the use of wire transfers. Drug proceeds are electronically moved from place to place or layered to obscure the origin of the funds, and the currency is then reintroduced as "clean" for trafficker use. Florida and especially Miami remains a highly traveled gateway for passengers and cargo bound for South and Central America. Over 70% of passengers departing from MIA are destined for South and Central America and the Caribbean. Most of the financial seizures made from passengers at MIA were currency seizures. The most common concealment methods were in luggage, clothing and body carry.
Special Topics: Because of the increased threat of methamphetamine labs in Florida, in December 2003, the MFD, in conjunction with the Florida Governor's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, agreed to establish the Florida Statewide Methamphetamine Strategy. The aim of this strategy is to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement’s response to the growing threat of clandestine laboratories in Florida. The strategy creates six regional teams to provide guidance to law enforcement agencies to improve coordination of clean-up activities and response to clandestine lab sites. The strategy also establishes a statewide protocol for first responders and emphasis will be placed on education and training in clandestine laboratory certification and site safety.
DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. There have been 409 deployments completed resulting in 16,763 arrests of violent drug criminals as of February 2004. There have been 29 MET deployments in the State of Florida since the inception of the program: three in Ft. Pierce, Collier County, Opa Locka, Hendry County, Hardee County, Riviera Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Highland County, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Sumter County, Seminole County, Live Oak, Homestead, Sarasota, South Miami, Florida City, North Miami Beach, Franklin County, Key West, Fernandina Beach, Delray/Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Lee County, Lauderhill, Columbia County, and Lake County/Clermont.
DEA Regional Enforcement Teams: This program was designed to augment existing DEA division resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement. This Program was conceived in 1999 in response to the threat posed by drug trafficking organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States. Nationwide, there have been 22 deployments completed resulting in 608 arrests of drug trafficking criminals as of February 2004. There have been no RET deployments in the State of Florida.