The Opioid Crisis in Sarasota
Sarasota is the county seat of Sarasota County, which is located on the mid-southwestern shore of the state of Florida. Many people in Sarasota are struggling with addiction to heroin and opioids. In 2016, 70 city residents died from overdosing on oxycodone, and 52 died from overdosing on fentanyl. Other prescription opioids, such as hydrocodone and morphine, also claimed lives throughout the year of 2016. The Sarasota Police Department has warned residents that drug traffickers have started to sell fentanyl, a deadly opioid that is 50 times stronger than morphine, disguised as other drugs in order to increase their profits.
Sarasota is also seeing an increase in the use of heroin, a highly dangerous and addictive drug. Many people who become addicted to heroin first started abusing prescription opioids. In 2016, heroin caused 32 deaths in Sarasota. One Sarasota resident who counsels people trying to overcome addiction to heroin has called the drug an “equal opportunity offender,” since it is so pervasive and affects so many different communities in the city.
Sarasota and Benzodiazepine Abuse
Addiction to benzodiazepines is also a serious problem in Sarasota. In 2016, 65 people in Sarasota died from overdosing on Alprazolam (Xanax), and 26 died from overdosing on Diazepam (Valium). The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has advised people to call 911 if they or someone they know is suffering from the effects of an opioid or benzodiazepine overdose.
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Binge Drinking: A Major Cause for Concern
As a popular tourist destination, Sarasota offers residents and visitors a vast array of restaurants, bars, and liquor stores. Unfortunately, binge drinking in Sarasota has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. In fact, the Sarasota County government determined in 2015 that rates of binge drinking were growing across all demographics. Binge drinking can disrupt a person’s life and result in alcohol addiction. In Sarasota, residents who are young or who earn higher incomes are especially likely to engage in binge drinking. The prevalence of binge drinking in Sarasota is also causing an increase in the number of traffic accidents involving alcohol. There were 407 car crashes in Sarasota in 2014 which involved someone driving under the influence of alcohol, while there were 360 the previous year.
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Whether you’re struggling with an addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, or illegal drugs, there are rehab centers available in Sarasota and throughout Florida where you or your loved one can get detox and therapy, recover from addiction, and begin to live a better life. If you’re ready to fight addiction, please contact a treatment provider today for more information on what to do and where to go.