Florida drug abuse overview

Florida has a population of 21,781,128 people. The most recent data from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that 2,519,000 people over the age of 12 had abused illegal substances in the past month, around 11.57% of the population. 2,343,000 reported marijuana use in the past month and 3,192,000 in the past year. The report also found that 338,000 Florida residents had abused cocaine in the past year, 184,000 had abused meth, and 614,000 had abused prescription pain medication. 139,000 people over the age of 18 reported using heroin in the last year. Those reporting opioid misuse including heroin, painkillers, and fentanyl in Florida totaled 655,000 people.

Substance abuse in Florida

The data shows a drug use disorder prevalence of 6.36% among the 12-17 age group, which is lower than the overall U.S. average of 6.78%. Adults 18+ in Florida have a prevalence rate of 7.69%, also below the U.S. average of 8.77%.[1]

Substance misuse

Substance misuse in Florida stands considerably lower than the national average. The state also has one of the lowest substance misuse rates in the entire U.S. As such, the 12-17 age range sees a 5.02% illicit drug use rate, compared to the national average of 7.09%. The 18+ estimate is 12.21% for Florida and 15.03% nationally.[1]

Marijuana misuse

Florida is below the national average for marijuana misuse as well. The US average for the 12-17 age range is 10.47%, whereas in Florida, 9.38% of teenagers have a marijuana use disorder. In the 18+ category, the national average is 19.59% for marijuana consumption, whereas Florida has a 15.48% use rate.[1]

Cocaine misuse

Florida’s cocaine misuse is closer to the national averages in the 12-17 age group and the 18+ range. The national cocaine use rates are 0.15% and 1.86% for these categories, respectively, whereas Florida has a 0.13% use rate for 12-17-year-olds and 1.42% for the adult category.[1]

Heroin misuse

There is insufficient data for heroin misuse in the 12-17 age range, showing that people in this age group rarely consume heroin. In the 18+ age range, the national estimate is 0.43%, but Florida’s rate is considerably lower at 0.32%. The 18-25-year-olds see a 0.20% heroin misuse rate across the US, close to the 0.17% average rate in Florida.[1]

Methamphetamine misuse

Florida has a 0.10% methamphetamine misuse rate for 12-17-year-olds, which is lower than the 0.14% national rate. The rate of methamphetamine misuse in the adult population over 18 range is 0.56%, almost half the national average of 0.99%.[1]

Prescription meds and opioid misuse

Florida’s opioid and prescription pain reliever use is higher in the 12-17 age range at 2.26%, compared to the national average of 1.91%. The 18+ category sees a 2.74% opioid use rate in Florida, whereas the US average is 3.44%.[1]

Prescription pain reliever in the 18+ age range stands at 2.54% in Florida compared to the national average of 3.24%.[1]

Alcohol abuse in Florida

Alcohol misuse was also reported in Florida with 9,823,000 people over the age of 12 saying they had used alcohol in the last month and 4,194,000 reporting binge drinking. The perceived risk of people over 12 years of age indulging in problematic alcohol use (5 or more drinks twice a week) in a month was 9,375,000 people.

Overdose death rates in Florida

In 2021, Florida saw a total of 7477 recorded drug-related overdose deaths. This includes those that were accidental or unidentifiable but excludes those that were related to suicide or homicide. This puts the overdose death toll in Florida at 34.3 people per 100,000. The total number of alcohol-related deaths (including overdose and all other causes) was 3541 or 16.2 per 100,000 people.

Substance use disorders and treatment in Florida

The NSDUH report also recorded the total amount of substance abuse disorders in Florida and those who currently require treatment. The report found that 3,111,000 were recorded as having a substance use disorder (SUD) and 2,120,000 had an alcohol use disorder. 491,000 people were recorded as having an opioid use disorder including those with painkiller, heroin, and other opioid-based drug use disorders. There are also many who have been diagnosed with or reported a substance, illicit drug, or alcohol use disorder that require rehab treatment and are not receiving it. The report found that 1,223,000 people in Florida needed treatment for illicit substance abuse, 2,130,000 required treatment for an alcohol use disorder, and 2,690,000 needed treatment for a diagnosed substance use disorder.

What treatment options are available in Florida?

There is no right or wrong approach to finding rehab in Florida, or anywhere in the USA. There are several factors that you should consider when looking for rehab, including the location, price, and the type of treatment offered. It’s important to choose the right treatment option in order to have the best chance of recovery, and to find a treatment that feels comfortable and helpful for you.

You, or the loved one that you are seeking rehab for, will respond best to treatment that is familiar to them and allows them to relax. For some people, this may be treatment that happens in a group environment and for others, it may be individualized therapy. 

Treatment options in Florida include:

How should I choose a rehab center in Florida?

Choosing a rehab center in Florida should be tailored to your needs and the state’s unique environment. Consider the following:

  • Accreditation and licensing: Verify that the rehab center is accredited by recognized bodies and holds Florida state licensing.

  • Treatment specialization: Look for facilities with experience in treating your specific substance use issues. For example, Florida is battling with opioid and alcohol addiction but has fewer cases of heroin addiction. As such, you may have more opioid treatment options than heroin treatment plans.

  • Holistic and customized plans: Select a center that offers individualized treatment plans and integrates holistic approaches. You may also analyze outdoor treatment venues that utilize Florida’s pleasant climate.

  • Qualified staff: Ensure the clinic or rehab center hires certified professionals with expertise in addiction medicine and mental health care.

  • Aftercare services: Post-treatment support is vital. Choose a center with solid aftercare programs to support long-term recovery.

  • Location: Consider the therapeutic benefits of the center’s location, whether near the beach for tranquility or closer to urban centers for convenience.

  • Insurance and cost: Evaluate the cost and check if the center accepts your insurance, considering Florida’s healthcare coverage options.

How much does rehab treatment cost in Florida?

Florida is the 21st cheapest state in the US in terms of drug rehabilitation. This state has the same average cost of outpatient drug treatment as Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and Connecticut. As such, the outpatient rehab cost reaches $1,705, whereas the average cost in the US is $5,700 for a 30-day plan.[2]

Residential rehab in Florida comes to an average of $56,640, but there are 13 facilities where you can find free drug rehab treatment. By comparison, the national average price for residential rehab is $42,500. These programs may last up to 12 months.[2] 

Inpatient rehabilitation costs an average of $12,500 both in Florida and the US, across a 28-30 day plan.[2]

Funding has long been a major obstacle in seeking addiction treatment. Despite any willingness to recover, progress tends to pause when finances come into play.

Private insurance can go a long way in making rehab treatments more affordable. Medicaid is also a viable option for those without private insurance. Although not all treatment centers accept state assistance, many drug and alcohol rehabs in Florida welcome it.

Rehab for meth addiction in Florida

A single use of methamphetamine (meth) may quickly turn into a severe dependency, making it one of the most addictive drugs. Patients see success through engaging with detoxification, and then a period of therapy and other treatments. Meth detox is usually done under medical supervision and comes as part of an inpatient treatment program. In addition to receiving behavioral counseling, patients will learn how to control the psychological side effects of meth withdrawal and develop skills to reenter society free of meth addiction.

How do you know if you need addiction treatment?

Depending on the person, the drug they are abusing, and their specific usage patterns, different substances have different indicators of addiction. This means that while almost everyone will exhibit symptoms, there are no universal "common indicators" of addiction. There are however several warning signs to watch out for if you are concerned about substance misuse and addiction in yourself or someone else. This can include sudden changes in mood, irritability, and unusual spending habits. Read here to learn more about the warning signs of addiction.

Are there any specialized treatment options I should consider?

Florida has different specialized treatment options. Wilderness drug rehab centers, which may include animal-assisted therapy and expressive arts therapy options, have proven beneficial alternatives to traditional treatment options. Florida also has numerous programs for disadvantaged communities, women, families, youths, LGBTQ+, and inmates. Luxury rehab centers are likewise available in the state.

Local government assistance in Florida

There are several ways that the Florida government can help you with addiction, from treatment to advice and everything in between. If you’re not ready to commit fully to rehab, then you don’t have to - you should be aware of additional forms of support offered by your local government, many of which won’t cost you anything. A list of Florida resources that could be useful to you is provided below:

  • Florida Statewide Substance Abuse Hotline -  When Florida citizens are experiencing a drug-related crisis, this hotline offers 24/7 assistance. Representatives may also direct you to trustworthy centers for addiction treatment.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program - The Public Health Department of Florida's dependency program connects callers to qualified providers of addiction treatment. At this crisis hotline, free drug therapy is also available.
  • Online Treatment Facility Locator - A discreet and anonymous source of information for anyone looking for treatment centers for drug use/addiction and/or mental health issues in the United States or U.S. Territories. 
  • Florida Substance Abuse Index - A comprehensive collection of resources and contact numbers that can provide drug and alcohol addiction support in Florida.