Hillsborough County Florida Rehabs

Alcohol and Drug Rehabs in Florida

Alcoholism and Addiction is not a life sentence.

There is hope, recovery is possible.

The Scope of the Opioid Epidemic in Florida

The CDC reports Florida ranks third in the United States in overdose deaths. The 3328 deaths related to opioids in Florida last year represent the highest ever death rate in Florida and represent a 27% rise. Florida’s opioid epidemic is no less severe in Pasco County, and Hillsborough County, that includes Tampa.

Hillsborough County takes action with a summit to combat the opioid crisis with a collaborative effort to forge a path towards recovery from the disease of drug abuse and opioid addiction.

The devastating impact of opioids on communities nationwide, including Hillsborough County, Florida has prompted a united front against addiction and overdoses. Lives lost, families torn apart, and the strain on hospitals, recovery centers, law enforcement, the judicial system, physicians and first responders necessitated a proactive response.

Local Organizations Share Resources

To provide vital information and share resources with local organizations grappling with the daily consequences of the opioid crisis, Hillsborough County orchestrated the “Opioid Summit 2023 – Fighting for the Future of Florida Families.” The summit program aimed to disseminate the latest research, data, and techniques, empowering frontline workers to develop impactful policies, strategies, and processes.

A key focus of the discussions centered around the dangers posed by fentanyl and fentanyl-laced counterfeit drugs. Illicit drug manufacturers have been producing pills resembling prescription Xanax or Oxycontin that contain potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. This deceptive practice exposes individuals to fentanyl-laced substances without their awareness of the fatal risks. Attorney General Ashley Moody emphasized, “We’re learning that one pill can kill. What starts in a medicine cabinet can end in a morgue.”

Attorney General Moody and Secretary Shevaun Harris of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) underscored the perils of counterfeit pills for children and adolescents, with substance use disorders frequently fueling domestic disturbance calls to 911. Secretary Harris remarked, “Opioids are among the greatest threats I have faced in my 20 years of public service,” shedding light on the fact that over 50% of DCF investigations involve someone grappling with an opioid use disorder.

Hillsborough County Florida Opioid Crisis | Florida Rehabs

The 2023 Opioid Summit: Seeking Solutions and a Brighter Future

Amidst the gargantuan challenges posed by heroin and opioid use disorders in the State of Florida, the 2023 Opioid Summit fostered a spirit of collaboration, aiming to chart a path towards a better future.

Dr. Kathleen Moore, a Research Professor at the USF Department of Mental Health, highlighted that it is not all doom and gloom. She stated, “We’re here, we’re having this conversation.”

A significant obstacle preventing individuals from seeking treatment is the stigma surrounding substance use disorders. Dr. Moore stressed the importance of fostering communication, education, and shared goals among all systems supporting those with substance use disorders. “It’s great that we have numerous organizations convening today to address substance use and stigma,” said Dr. Moore. “We need to normalize mental illness to foster a sense of commonality.”

Opioid Epidemic in Hillsborough County is a Public Health Emergency

An already successful approach gaining traction is the “co-responder model.” This collaborative effort brings together emergency department staff, first responders and clinicians, providing a comprehensive approach to reducing opioid overdoses by delivering evidence-based patient care from the moment emergency response services are engaged during a drug-related incident. Coupled with affordable or no-cost healthcare plans like the Hillsborough County Health Care Plan, this approach aims to minimize barriers and ensure individuals receive the necessary assistance.

“The reason we do this to this extent is to lend awareness to the opioid addiction problem, to the drug overdose problems and what that does to the community, not just to individuals, but to the community itself,” said Bradley Herremans, the chair of the Behavioral Health Task Force.

Innovative wrap-around programs involving multiple organizations are poised to become the future of care for those battling substance use disorders. However, addressing certain fundamental realities is crucial. Foremost among these is the need for increased funding for recovery programs and treatment beds. Ashya Pereyra from the Agency for Community Treatment Services (ACTS) highlighted this necessity, stating, “We have a lot of good housing, but we need a lot more. The moment we create capacity for housing, it immediately reaches full occupancy.”

Getting Naloxone into the Hands of First Responders in Florida

The Florida governor announced the plan in a statement to raise federal funds in Florida to combat opioid addiction, while surgeon general Phillip was working with first responders in all states. It included a permanent order stating that first responders should be able to take naloxone, which can reverse an opioid-induced overdose when taken promptly.

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County is pleased to announce the availability of free Naloxone (Narcan) Nasal Spray kits. These kits contain a lifesaving medication that has the potential to significantly reduce substance abuse-related deaths in the state. Naloxone is now accessible to individuals who use drugs, those with a history of drug use, individuals at risk of overdose, as well as friends, family members, and others who may witness an overdose.

Increasing the availability of naloxone is a crucial step in combating the opioid epidemic. By providing naloxone to the public, we can effectively prevent overdose deaths in Florida.

Naloxone is a medication specifically designed to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It rapidly restores breathing and consciousness within minutes of being administered to someone who has overdosed. Naloxone can be administered by anyone, even without medical training, until emergency medical assistance arrives. However, it is important to note that naloxone is not a substitute for professional medical care. If an opioid overdose is suspected, individuals should immediately call 911 before administering naloxone.

To obtain access to a naloxone kit from DOH-Hillsborough, individuals must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Individuals at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose
  • Caregivers who may witness an opioid overdose or individuals likely to experience or witness an opioid overdose

Naloxone kits can be acquired at the following locations from Monday to Friday, between 8:00am and 4:00pm:

Specialty Care Center | 1105 E. Kennedy Blvd.

University Area Health Center | 13601 N. 22nd St.

Sulphur Springs Health Center | 8605 N. Mitchell Ave.

Tuberculosis Center | 8515 N. Mitchell Ave.

For more information about naloxone in Hillsborough County, please call 813-307-8000.

These naloxone kits are provided free of charge, and appointments are not necessary. Individuals who receive naloxone will also receive educational materials, referrals, and connections to substance abuse prevention and intervention resources.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Resources in Tampa Bay Area

Salvation Army 1514 N Florida Avenue Tampa, FL 33602 (813) 549-0641 www.salvationarmy.org

Tampa Funcoast Area of Narcotics Anonymous – https://www.tampa-na.org/meetings/

Alcoholics Anonymous – https://alcoholicsanonymous.com/aa-meetings/florida/