Florida isn’t the only state that has been facing an opioid crisis for years, but they are among the ones with the highest rates of overdose and fatalities. As upsetting as this might be to residents, there are a few silver linings to the clouds of addiction that hang over the sunny state.
Since having the opioid epidemic being declared a state of emergency awhile back, government leaders and addiction treatment specialists have partnered together to help people recover from opioid addiction and to reduce the rate of overdoses. Asking what has been do so far helps you see where the efforts are going and what still needs to be done.
What Does Resolving the Opioid Crisis in Florida Require?
Opioid addiction takes such a strong hold over people that simply telling them to quit isn’t enough. Even people who have gone through addiction treatment are at risk for falling back into their former habits if they don’t receive enough support. Experts have determined that resolving the opioid epidemic in Florida requires taking a multi-prong approach that includes these elements.
- harm reduction
- opioid addiction treatment
Prevent begins with prescription drug monitoring programs that can help to identify and stop people from doctor shopping. State programs also include drug take-back sites and events that allow people to discard their unused medications in a way that keeps them from falling into the wrong hands. Educational programs also exist that aim to teach people about how to recognize opioid addiction along with the signs of an overdose.
Harm reduction programs further involve helping to get medications to people who might be in a position to stop an overdose from continuing while they wait for emergency services to arrive. Advances in opioid addiction treatment are among the most exciting changes to see over the past several years. In addition to opening more centers, addiction treatment teams have been focusing on providing opioid-specific care that makes long-term success with sobriety more likely .
How Is Florida Addressing Overdose Survivors?
Recently, Florida expanded a new, piloted program called Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE). This program uses a partnership between the Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Healthcare Administration to create a strong network of addiction support in the most vulnerable counties in the state.
The CORE program strives to address addiction at the first point of emergency care. In the past, survivors of overdoses might not have received much follow-up support. Today, the program includes working with each member of the network to ensure that overdose survivors are connected with addiction treatment, even while they are still in the back of the emergency vehicle.
Once they are stabilized, opioid survivors are also provided with a vast network of resources to help them gain an interest in sobriety and stay clean. People with addictions to opioids may need assistance with rebuilding their lives. In addition to addiction treatment, a person might need assistance with bolstering their skills to find a job.
Or, they may have serious dental pain and need to be connected to an addiction friendly dentist that can provide them with affordable treatment while respecting their need to avoid strong prescription painkillers. Helping a survivor increase their overall health across multiple sectors of their lives makes it less likely that they’ll end up in the back of an emergency vehicle again.
What Impact Has Addiction Care Had On the Opioid Crisis?
The increased focus on addiction treatment to resolve the opioid crisis has gone a long way toward eliminating the stigma that people face with seeking care. Many people with an opioid addiction developed it after taking prescription medications, and finding themselves surrounded by support during one of their worst moments helps to eliminate the guilt and shame that can stop people from seeking help. Now, with more people receiving prompt addiction care, the rates of overdoses are starting to improve.
Eventually, the goal is to see the numbers drop sharply as the rates of successful recoveries increase. Are you concerned about how the growing opioid crisis is affecting you or a loved one? We can help connect you with new resources that help people stay sober. Contact us today at 844-639-8371.