Drug Abuse in Hialeah, Florida
Nestled in Miami-Dade County, Hialeah, like other Florida cities, endures a struggle with drugs and alcohol. Although many substances are abused locally, the area is most well known for its struggles with cocaine. Cocaine has been used on Miami streets for decades, and its high availability in the region impacts Hialeah strongly. Rates of cocaine abuse have increased throughout each year, with previous years ranging from 1,114 to 1,791 local overdoses. However, cocaine-related deaths have decreased in most recent years.
Although use of cocaine in Miami and surrounding Florida cities has decreased, methamphetamine (or meth) and opioid abuse is on the rise. Miami-Dade County, home to Hialeah, witnessed 81 people fatally overdose on meth during 2013, and more recent Hialeah drug busts suggest meth is still a popular drug. 2017 saw 267 cases of meth being seized by local law officials. Although alcohol us still the most commonly abused substance in Hialeah, alcohol abuse and binge drinking rates have declined over recent years.
Hialeah residents also report high rates of benzodiazepine use—sometimes combining them with legal and illegal opioids.
Opioid Abuse in Hialeah
Members of Hialeah’s community endure struggles with prescription opioid abuse, impacted by the national opioid epidemic. Fake Oxycodone pills are seized by the police, and increasing numbers of prescription opioids are making headlines in Hialeah. OxyContin is a popular drug highly demanded by patients. Fake OxyContin pills are being produced for drug dealers’ profit. Methadone and morphine are also popular chemicals used by Hialeah residents.
Statistics also reference hydrocodone, morphine, methadone, and fentanyl were found in 75% of 2016 opioid-related deaths in Miami-Dade County. Addiction to synthetic opioids like heroin and non-medical fentanyl continue to grip many—including those who were once diagnosed prescription opioids for chronic pain.
Heroin claimed the lives of 139 Miami-Dade residents in 2016, increasing from 46 deaths in 2002. Fentanyl claimed 258 lives of people living in the Miami-Dade area in the second half of 2016 alone. Morphine caused 148 deaths in the second half of 2016.
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Effects of Cocaine Abuse in Hialeah
Cocaine abuse is an unfortunate reality many in Hialeah face, and it remains one of the most commonly abused substances besides prescription opioids. The substance can be snorted or injected, taking as little as 1 minute to 1 hour to affect users. Users feeling the high of cocaine can expect the high to last from 5 minutes if smoked to 30 minutes if snorted.
The effectiveness of the substance largely depends on how it is used. Chemicals from cocaine flood the brain with rewards like euphoric feelings. This creates a powerful high. The illegal substance creates effects characteristics such as:
- Increased energy
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
The highly addictive powder grips the lives of many, capable of hooking people who try it for the very first time. Due to the addictive nature of cocaine, users risk serious long-term effects of the chemical, which range from high blood pressure to chills.
After extended use, cocaine users may develop a tolerance, and seek new highs. Consequently, they may combine cocaine with other drugs like heroin (speedballing), fentanyl, marijuana or alcohol for a new sensation. As a result of combining harmful substances, individuals have a much higher risk of fatally overdosing.
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Individuals struggling with cocaine abuse may endure high blood pressure, seizures, headaches, coma, and chills. Relationships may be destroyed and jobs lost as individuals continue to use harmful substances. Individuals may experience highly uncomfortable symptoms of opioid withdrawal like vomiting, paranoia, extreme discomfort, intense craving, shaking or even death. These symptoms are best treated under the care of a professional, away from distractions that can heighten the chance of a relapse. If you or a family member are struggling to get sober, contact a treatment provider today to discover ways you can begin your healing journey.