The Miami Heroin Epidemic
The Miami Heroin Epidemic calls for a new task force. The misuse, abuse, addiction, and overdose of opioids have become serious public health problems in Miami – Dade County. Over the past decade, alarming increases in opioid – related overdoses and deaths have been observed. Since 2005, more than 1,200 members of our community have died due to opioids. According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, approximately 100 Miami – Dade County residents died as a result of opioid poisoning annually from 2005 – 2015. During 2016, the numbers were more alarming, with 229 residents fatally overdosing from opioids. Furthermore, thousands of additional Miami – Dade County residents have been admitted to hospitals and treatment centers or visited emergency departments each year due to opioid poisoning and abuse, resulting in distress upon individuals, their families, and our communities.
Drug Prevention Hotline: 1-800-731-6306
Heroin Use Skyrockets in South Florida
While these dynamics have affected Miami – Dade County residents of all genders and age groups, the impact is particularly striking for males and young/middle – aged adults. Between 2005 and 2016, Miami – Dade County adults aged 25 – 54 years were nearly three times more likely to die from an opioid overdose compared to other adults. During 2016, adults aged 25 – 34 years were predominantly affected, as they experienced a 98% increase in the number of fatal opioid overdoses compared to the previous year. Additionally, a considerable increase in fatal opioid overdoses (76%) was observed last year in adults aged 35 – 64 years compared to 2015. Opioid overdoses also predominately affect males, who have accounted for 70% of all opioid – caused deaths among Miami – Dade County residents. The recent death toll among males due to opioids, however, has been striking, with overdose fatalities quadrupling since 2013 (from 42 to 187 deaths in 2016).
Introducing The Opioid Task Force
These trends indicated a comprehensive and multi – faceted response was required to curtail the impact that opioids are having on our resident s and community. Consequently, the Miami – Dade Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution on December 16th , 2016 founding the Opioid Addiction Task Force, which met over a four – month period from January – April 2017 to provide recommendations by:
1) Identifying best practices to address the opioid epidemic;
2) Recommending existing resources to assist opioid addicted individuals;
3) Expanding available long term treatment options for individuals addicted to opioids; and
4) Implementing effective interventions for opioid addicted individuals.
The task force operates under the “Collective Impact” principle. Collective Impact is a structured
approach, with a backbone organization, that combines community efforts to build a common
agenda and achieve lasting social change. This method is used to address complex health problems
and invoke sustained population – wide health improvement. The task forces reach uses a top – down
approach across multisector, with a charge of developing county – wide strategic action plans to address the opioid epidemic.
Help me Quit Heroin
BTRU2U is here ready to support you in your commitment to be Drug Free. Opioid addiction is a chronic disease requiring a multifaceted and comprehensive treatment system to support and encourage recovery. Research has indicated that effective outcomes are dependent on adequate treatment length. Participation of less than 90 days during residential treatment is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes. We encourage Miami Heroin addicts to see our drug prevention resources here. If you prefer to get immediate one on one support, please call the BTRU2U Drug Prevention Hotline: 1-800-731-6306.