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New Laws in Florida Fight Opioid Addiction

Governor Rick Scott signed a new bill into law on Monday, March 19, 2018 that is meant to aid the fight against opioid addiction. Among the changes, the new law will make in the Sunshine State are a $65 million allocation in state funds to fighting the opioid epidemic and a restriction on opioid prescriptions to 3 days per prescription per patient. This means patients who want to or need to be on opioids for more than 3 days will require special permission from their doctor if they are going to receive a medication for more than this time period.

Limiting the prescription times, according to Governor Scott will help to minimize the number of individuals becoming dependent on and addicted to opioids every day. Also, the bill will provide more individuals with the treatment they require to safely recover from addiction if they have already been affected by it. Manatee County was the site of the law’s signing because there is already a particularly serious substance abuse problem in this county.

Opioid Deaths and Florida

Florida is one of the states hit hardest by the opioid epidemic, as evidenced by data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of drug overdose deaths in the state increased by 22.7 percent. Over the next year, these deaths increased by 46.3 percent. Both of these increases were statistically significant as stated by the CDC, and both were largely caused by the serious opioid abuse situation in the state.

Many people still abuse prescription drugs like those that will be affected by the new bill, but unfortunately, a large amount of the opioid-abusing population has moved on to fentanyl and heroin abuse. The latter is a dangerous, addictive, and illicit drug that people often turn to after their tolerance for prescription opioids becomes too strong. The former is 100 times more potent than morphine and is often illicitly manufactured and sold to drug abusers. Most people do not realize how strong fentanyl is when they abuse it, which is why it leads to so many drug overdoses. In 2013, Florida law enforcement encountered fentanyl only 0 to 50 times, but by 2015, this increased to over 500 encounters.

How Can Rehab Help an Opioid Addict?

People who become addicted to opioid drugs will require detox and rehab treatment in order to stop abusing these substances and to navigate withdrawal.

  • When a person dependent on opioids stops using, they will experience an intense withdrawal syndrome that feels similar to the flu.
  • Without the proper care, it can be extremely difficult to avoid relapse during this time, and those who do relapse are in serious danger of an overdose.
  • In detox treatment, patients can work through their withdrawal symptoms with the help of medical supervision, medications that minimize pain and other uncomfortable symptoms, and therapies that can help prepare them for rehab.
  • Afterwards, patients who detox in a professional facility are often more likely to seek rehab treatment and build a safe, strong recovery from opioid addiction.

Seek Treatment Today

Whether you or someone you love is suffering from an opioid addiction, now is the time to take action. Call 800-481-6320 to find safe, reliable detox centers near you.

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