Treatment for Heroin Addiction in South Florida: Get Help Today
Last Updated Dec 2, 2021
Pompano Beach, Florida, is part of Broward County, the second most populous county in the state. The effects of the opioid epidemic, including the second wave involving high rates of heroin abuse and overdose, have hit Florida very hard. Broward County offers many services to help residents overcome their addiction to these dangerous drugs.
Boca Recovery Center specializes in residential treatment for heroin addiction. There are also outpatient and nonprofit services available to support your whole recovery journey.
What Is the Scope of Heroin Addiction in the United States?
Heroin abuse is one of the leading causes of overdoses and death in the United States. In 2019, for example, more than 28 percent of all opioid overdose deaths involved heroin, which was five times higher than in 2010, when the second wave of opioid abuse began, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Heroin is one of the most addictive opioid drugs in the world. It is a Schedule I illegal substance in the US.
Like other opioids, heroin reduces pain and creates a sense of relaxed euphoria. However, it quickly metabolizes out of the body, so these pleasurable feelings go away soon after a dose is taken. This means that people who struggle with heroin abuse take multiple doses over the course of the day, not only to feel good, but to ward off feeling bad. As heroin leaves the brain, pain can return or get worse, anxiety and stress can increase, and other discomfort like stomach cramps can arise.
Evidence-based treatment for heroin addiction combines Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapy in rehabilitation programs and support groups. MAT is particularly important because detoxing from opioid addiction can be physically and emotionally distressing. MAT provides physical stabilization that allows you to focus on overcoming compulsive behaviors through counseling.
What Is the Scope of Heroin Addiction in South Florida?
Florida is one of the epicenters of the opioid abuse epidemic in the US. In 2018, there were 4,698 reported drug overdose deaths in the Sunshine State, of which 68 percent, or 3,189 deaths, involved opioids like heroin.
The second wave of the opioid abuse epidemic began around 2010, when prescriptions for opioid narcotics were restricted. Unfortunately, many people struggling with addiction to these substances turned to less expensive, and more readily available, illegal heroin. The first few waves of this change occurred in Florida, where heroin abuse has remained high since.
Heroin overdose deaths spiked in South Florida around 2011, when they had previously been relatively low compared to the rest of the state. Between 2011 and 2012, heroin overdose deaths increased 89 percent (from 62 to 117 deaths), while Broward County’s rates tripled in that same two-year period.
As heroin abuse and overdose rates rose, treatment admissions for heroin addiction also rose — from 4 percent of all substance abuse admissions in South Florida in 2012 to 8 percent in the first half of 2013.
Heroin Addiction Treatment in Pompano Beach
Boca Recovery Center in Pompano Beach is one residential program that combines detox and rehabilitation services in a supportive, abstinence-focused environment. When you enter treatment with Boca Recovery, you start with a detox program that suits your needs — in this case, using MAT to help you physically stabilize. Then, you will enter residential behavioral treatment.
When you leave your regular environment, you can reduce your encounters with triggers from stress, substance-abusing companions, or specific locations. This helps you focus on feeling better and learning new, sober behaviors.
You may encounter these medications during the detox process:
- Buprenorphine: The prescription partial opioid agonist in Suboxone or Subutex, buprenorphine reduces cravings and other withdrawal symptoms without leading to intoxication. Since buprenorphine binds to opioid receptors in the brain for a long time, you can manage compulsive behaviors related to taking multiple doses of heroin or other opioids in a day, which reduces your risk of relapse once you have completed treatment. While it is a partial opioid antagonist, few people abuse or become addicted to Suboxone.
- Methadone: This is a full opioid agonist, and it is the preferred treatment for people who have struggled with high-dose heroin abuse for many years. Like buprenorphine, methadone has a long half-life, so you can reduce your compulsive behaviors around taking doses of opioids and avoid feeling intense withdrawal symptoms while you focus on behavioral therapy.
- Naltrexone: Once you have ended your physical dependence on opioids, your doctor may prescribe naltrexone, which stops you from feeling the high associated with opioids in the event you do relapse. Although you will still have opioids in your bloodstream, you will not feel euphoria from them. This approach to maintenance can reinforce the learned reduction in compulsive behaviors in counseling sessions.
Behavioral therapy is one of the most important components of addiction treatment. Counseling helps you understand potential triggers, like stress, that might lead to relapse after you become sober.
While there are many approaches to therapy, these two are among the most common in addiction treatment:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This form of talk therapy developed as a way to reduce the risk of relapse in people ending alcohol addiction. It has since been applied to a wide range of mental and behavioral treatments, including to treat other forms of addiction like to opioids, mental health issues like depression or anxiety, and behavioral conditions like borderline personality disorder (BPD). Techniques can be applied to both group and individual counseling.
- 12-step counseling: Based on Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 steps are a specific series of goals to complete in order to restore relationships, improve health, and manage your life while abstinent from drugs or alcohol. This type of counseling is most often used in mutual support groups.
Additional Heroin Addiction Treatment Resources for Broward County
If you need additional support for co-occurring behavioral or mental conditions, or other outpatient services once you leave treatment at Boca Recovery Center, there are several options for help around Pompano Beach. Broward County, home to Pompano Beach and other cities, is the second most populous county in Florida, which means there are many options for social support available.
- Broward Behavioral Health Coalition (BBHC): This nonprofit organization offers many types of treatment, including Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for detox and a range of counseling services.
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA): Based on the globally successful 12-step program through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), NA has numerous regular meetings, both in person and online, for residents of Pompano Beach.
- Broward Health’s Behavioral Health Services: Two locations associated with this nonprofit hospital group provide behavioral health services, especially for people with acute symptoms or those who benefit from outpatient services.
- Dose of Reality: This new Opioid Task Force, formed in Florida, combats prescription drug misuse and abuse by managing education and prevention programs, prescription drug collection drives and locations, and data-gathering initiatives to understand the scope of prescription narcotic abuse, which might lead to heroin addiction.
- Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: The Electronic Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substance Evaluation Program (E-FORCSE) is Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program that helps reduce forged prescriptions, over-prescribing, and other prescription-related abuses. By catching risky behavior early, this program reduces the risk of people abusing opioid prescriptions and then switching to heroin when they can no longer obtain pharmaceuticals.
- Pompano Beach Social Service Department: If you have questions about programs specifically in Pompano Beach, you can contact the social services department through their website or hotline.
The Florida Department of Health is also in the process of launching a new initiative to gather data on opioid addiction and overdose, including heroin, in the state. The Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) grant provides funds to improve monitoring and data surveillance in the southern state.
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Florida Department of Health Launches Community Effort in Fight Against Drug Overdose and Opioid Abuse. (February 2020). Florida Department of Health.
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