Lee County Florida Rehabs

Alcohol and Drug Rehabs in Florida

Alcoholism and Addiction is not a life sentence.

There is hope, recovery is possible.

Believe it or not, Lee County, Florida has become the focal point of the opioid epidemic in Southwest Florida, with significantly higher death rates compared to neighboring counties. Overdoses in Lee County in 2017 were 955 and in the first quarter of 2022 almost 300 overdoses alone were documented.

The rise in deaths and overdoses can be attributed to the increased availability and use of opioids, particularly heroin and fentanyl. The opioid epidemic has been fueled by various factors, including the aggressive marketing of opioids by pharmaceutical companies, the classification of pain as a vital sign, and the crackdown on prescription drugs, leading to a shift towards illegal street drugs.

Law enforcement agencies have witnessed a surge in heroin-related arrests and seizures. Fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid, has also contributed to the rising death toll. Lee County is committed to public education, documenting prescribed opioids, harm reduction strategies, and expanded treatment options to address the opioid crisis effectively.

Opioid Overdoses | Florida Rehabs

Opioid Epidemic in Lee County

The editor and chief of the Seahawks Eye AJ Cudnik, Editor-in-Chief wrote a great article that details trends in Lee County. The take away is the opioid epidemic in Lee County, Florida, has reached its worst point, with a surge in fentanyl-laced drugs posing a significant threat to the community. Opiate overdoses have been on the rise across the county, leading doctors to search for solutions to stem the outbreak.

Dr. Tim Dougherty, a medical toxicology specialist, highlighted the shift from pill mills to intravenous (IV) drug use after the closure of pill mills. From 2015 to 2021, drug overdose deaths in Lee County increased by 250%, despite a decline in legitimate opioid prescriptions.

To combat the epidemic, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office has implemented measures to track down drug dealers, focusing on those involved in selling fentanyl or fentanyl-laced drugs. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of over-the-counter use of naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is expected to help reduce opioid overdose mortality rates. Narcan can temporarily reverse opioid overdoses and has proven effective for emergency medicine personnel, family members, Lee County Sheriff’s, and all first responders in saving lives.

Council member Tom Hayden emphasizes the need for more access to education, gradual cessation strategies, recovery services and support programs for addicts. Public awareness and prevention efforts, particularly among students and young people, are crucial to addressing the issue. Organizations like Drug-Free Southwest Florida work closely with local schools and students to raise awareness about destructive behaviors, including drug abuse, addiction, and underage drinking.

Deb Comella, Executive Director of Drug-Free SWFL, stresses the need for open communication between parents and children about all substance abuse and drug-related issues. Encouraging dialogue and dispelling myths can help young individuals make informed choices and seek treatment services when needed for opioid addiction.

The Lee County sheriff’s office has a narcotics unit. According to their website the narcotics unit is responsible for all Narcotics arrests in Lee County, including all municipalities. This unit is comprised of 26 agents with military support, full-time attorneys and a lab to combat the drug problem in Lee County.

Regarding recovery options, Hayden believes that eliminating the stigma associated with drug use, alcoholism and opioid addiction is crucial in encouraging individuals to seek assistance in Cape Coral, and the Fort Myers area and throughout the Lee County.

Lee County offers drug therapies for withdrawal, including buprenorphine, which helps curb withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings. However, there is a need for increased access to psychological and addiction counselors, as many individuals struggling with drug addiction also face mental health challenges.

Lee County Clerk's Office Marchman Act | Florida Rehabs

Marchman Act Lee County

A Marchman Act, is a Florida statute providing emergency intervention for those over-using drugs or alcohol. It’s meant primarily to address serious situations where a chronic substance user refuses to seek, or is incapable of seeking help for their drug abuse, alcoholism, or opioid addiction and may be a danger to themselves or others of all ages.

Family members in Cape Coral, Fort Myers and throughput Lee County can file online or visit the Lee County clerk’s office to begin this process.

  1. Complete the following for Assessment and Stabilization
  2. Options on ways to submit your filings:
    • Efiling through the eportal Florida Courts E-Filing Portal | File Court Documents Online (myflcourtaccess.com)
    • In person at our Fort Myers Location, 2075 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 2nd Floor, Fort Myers FL 33901
  3. Hearing – Once Clerk’s office receives Petition and Party Information Sheet a case number is assigned, and hearing will be scheduled.
    • Hearings are scheduled every Monday. To ensure adequate service time is provided, below is the cut off for scheduling a hearing:
      • Paperwork received on or before Wednesday is scheduled for the following Monday
      • Paperwork received after Wednesday will be scheduled a week and a half out
  4. Petitioners are required to attend the hearing regardless if subject has been not served. No appearance by either party will result in the case to be dismissed

The Marchman Act petition must be filed in the County where the individual is currently located.

Lee County clerk’s office maintains the records on involuntary procedures related to mental illness, drug abuse, developmentally disabled, tuberculosis, and adult protective services.

The criteria and procedures for the Marchman Act (substance abuse) or Baker Act (mental health) cases are different.

Finding Help Now

For those seeking support, national and state hotlines are available. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral hotline provides free and confidential referrals and information. In Florida, the statewide Substance Abuse Hotline offers counseling and guidance for individuals in drug-related crises.

Overall, addressing the opioid epidemic in Lee County requires a multifaceted approach involving education, prevention, support systems, and increased access to treatment options and mental health services.

https://leecountyaa.org/ – Alcoholics Anonymous

http://www.southfloridaal-anon.org/ – Al-anon

https://caflorida.org/ – Cocaine Anonymous

https://naflorida.org/ – Narcotics Anonymous

https://findtreatment.gov/ National Helpline

Opioid Settlements for Florida and Lee County

As of January 31, 2022, settlement agreements have been finalized, resolving all opioid litigation brought by states and local political subdivisions against Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen. The settlements require these companies to pay billions of dollars to address the opioid epidemic. The Distributors will pay up to $21 billion over 18 years, and Johnson & Johnson will pay up to $5 billion over a maximum of 9 years, totaling $26 billion. Around $22.7 billion of the settlement amount will be used by participating states and subdivisions to mitigate the impact of the opioid crisis.

Endo Health Solutions

Attorney General Moody negotiated a $65 million settlement agreement with Endo Health Solutions Inc., a company accused of deceptively marketing opioid medications and neglecting to monitor and report suspicious orders. Non-litigating subdivisions in Florida have until June 14, 2022, to sign onto the settlement.

CVS Health Corporation, CVS Pharmacy, Inc.

Florida will receive up to $440 million from CVS over 18 years, with a portion allocated directly to cities and counties. These funds must be utilized for opioid abatement, including prevention efforts, treatment, or recovery services. Attorney General Moody negotiated an allocation plan with the localities to ensure effective utilization. The remaining amount will cover fees and costs incurred by the state, cities, and counties.

Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

Florida will receive up to $177,114,999 from Teva over 15 years, with a portion allocated directly to cities and counties for opioid abatement efforts. Teva will also provide $84 million worth of Naloxone Hydrochloride, an opioid reversal medication, to the state. The remaining funds will cover fees and costs incurred by the state, cities, and counties.

Allergan Finance, LLC.

Florida and its subdivisions will receive up to $122 million from Allergan over 11 years for opioid abatement initiatives, including prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The settlement will also allocate funds to cover fees and costs incurred by the state, cities, and counties.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. and Walgreen Co.

Florida will receive up to $620 million from Walgreens over 18 years, with a portion allocated directly to cities and counties for opioid abatement efforts. These funds must be used for prevention, treatment, or recovery services. Attorney General Moody negotiated an allocation plan with the localities. The remaining amount will cover fees and costs incurred by the state, cities, and counties.


Florida will receive up to $215 million from Walmart on the effective date of the agreement. A portion of the funds will be sent directly to cities and counties for opioid abatement efforts, including prevention, treatment, and recovery services. Walmart has also committed to distributing 672,000 Naloxone kits to first responders in partnership with the state over the next 10 years.