Miami is a highly sought international destination known worldwide. While it boasts nearly year-round sunshine and white sandy beaches, it holds a secret behind its glitz and glamor. The addiction epidemic struck the state of Florida as a whole, but South Florida is an entry point for many drugs into the United States.
Unfortunately, despite the dent government officials and law enforcement have made in dealing with the overdose epidemic, addiction still runs rampant in the sunshine state.
Addiction is a chronic disease that is treatable with proper care from addiction specialists. If you or someone you know is currently struggling with addiction in the Miami area, it’s time that you learn more about addiction treatment that is offered in South Florida.
Substance Abuse in Florida
Miami is surrounded by a beautiful mix of the Everglades and the Atlantic ocean. Miami has a rich cultural diversity with many backgrounds hailing from all over the world. While it may boast 3,000 hours of annual sunshine and be within proximity to the beach, it has been devastated by the opioid epidemic. The area has been overwhelmed in recent years, and the United States as a whole has seen a significant spike in overdose deaths. Florida has implemented many policies to try and curb this.
The spike in overdose deaths is primarily due to the synthetic opioid known as fentanyl in the United States. Fentanyl is said to be 50 times more powerful than heroin, and nearly 100 times stronger than morphine. Today, fentanyl is routinely mixed into bags of heroin to increase the strength of its product. When this occurs, it can result in an overdose for someone who is not accustomed to the potency of fentanyl.
As we discussed above, Miami is a major hub in South America for the transportation of illicit drugs. Fentanyl can come into the United States through various channels. From 2014 to 2016, the number of fentanyl deaths broke a new record.
What Is Substance Abuse Treatment?
Substance abuse treatment is commonly referred to as drug or alcohol addiction treatment. The process aims to address various issues that involve medical, social, and psychological problems related to substance abuse. Successful addiction treatment needs to cover more than addiction, and it should address co-occurring mental health disorders, past trauma, medical conditions, or anything else fueling addiction.
Determining a single cause of addiction is not possible, and it has to do with the combination of environmental, biological, and developmental reasons that fuel the condition.
Addiction treatment must be tailored to each person’s unique requirements to achieve success.
There are four primary levels of care, and there are many subcategories that will address the specific needs of your situation. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) provides an outline of care and the criteria for the appropriate level of care. They follow as:
- Medical Detox: Also referred to as medically managed intensive inpatient services, it is the most intensive level of care in treatment. It requires 24 hours of care that can last from three to seven days. It is a dangerous and uncomfortable process that monitors withdrawal symptoms. Clinicians are available to help you avoid fatal complications, such as seizures or delirium tremens (DTs) that can occur during alcohol or benzo withdrawal.
- Residential Services: Another highly intensive level of care involving medical or clinical monitoring around-the-clock, seven days a week. If you are dealing with ongoing medical conditions or mental health concerns, you will be monitored to ensure your safety.
- Intensive Outpatient (IOP): Intensive outpatient requires more than nine hours of clinical services each week. In some cases, you can attend a treatment schedule similar to a workweek. You will participate in various therapy sessions such as individual, group, or family therapy.
- Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient is considered the lowest level of care in addiction treatment. It is a crucial step between addiction therapy and independent living once you complete treatment. Fewer than nine hours of clinical services a week are required.
Once you have completed the continuum of care, you will still be connected to an aftercare program. It will allow you to stay connected to community resources and provide extra care.
What to Look For in Substance Abuse Treatment
There are various treatment programs around the country, but not all are effective in facilitating long-term sobriety. If you are looking for a treatment program that suits your needs in Miami, it may seem a bit overwhelming.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) aims to make it easier and provides a list of what to look for in successful addiction treatment. While searching for a treatment center, these factors must be discussed:
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior
- There is not a single treatment appropriate for everyone
- Treatment must be readily available
- Effective treatment must address multiple needs, not just drug abuse
- Remaining in treatment for an adequate amount of time is crucial
- Behavior therapies are commonly used in the treatment
- Medications are an essential element of treatment, especially when combined with behavioral therapies
- Treatment plans must be assessed continually and modified as necessary
- Many drug users also have mental disorders
- Medical detox is only the first stage of addiction treatment and does little to change long-term drug use
- Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective