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substance abuse statistics florida

Substance Abuse Statistics in Florida

Florida has made a name for itself over the years for its white sand beaches, high-end nightlife, and being the home of the most magical place on earth — Disney World. Serving as one of the most traveled to and through places in the country, Florida also reigns as one of the top addiction treatment hubs. It is home to countless treatment centers, but it is also home to excessively high rates of drug and alcohol abuse. This is to be expected, especially in places like Miami and Daytona Beach where people come from all over simply just to party. The culture of drinking and drugging is thick in Florida and substance abuse statistics are high. For several living in the Sunshine State, addiction is part of their everyday lives. 

Alcohol Abuse Statistics in Florida

Alcohol is by far the most widely abused mind-altering substance in the entire country. Of the more than 21 million Americans who have a substance use disorder, 15 million of them are alcoholics. This condition is so common that almost everyone knows someone who has struggled with alcoholism at one point or another in their lives. In Florida, however, alcoholism is much more pronounced than in other areas of the country, as approximately 58% of Floridians are drinkers. Of course, drinking is to be expected in a state where the most popular towns and cities are along the coast and boast a resort-like feel. However, that does not mean that Floridians can escape the negative effects alcoholism produces. 

The Florida Department of Children and Families reported that between 2015 and 2016, 24,000 Floridians sought professional treatment for alcoholism. Over the past few years, that number remains in the same ballpark. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also noted that cases of alcohol poisoning are higher in Florida than in most other states. Additional statistics regarding alcohol use and abuse in Florida include the following:

  • Men are more frequently admitted to treatment for alcohol use disorder than women (a 2:1 ratio to be exact)
  • Approximately 18% of admissions to treatment centers for alcohol use disorder were individuals between the ages of 18 and 25
  • Excessive drinking results in 6,643 deaths per year in Florida (an equivalent to 187,068 hours of total life lost)
  • Florida is the 29th “drunkest state” in the country
  • 17.4% of adults in Florida drink excessively
  • Alcohol-related driving deaths clock in at 28.2%
  • The area with the highest rate of problematic drinking in Florida is Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin 

While alcoholism is surely one of the greatest public health threats to the people of Florida, so is drug addiction, which impacts several Floridians, too.

Drug Abuse Statistics in Florida 

Drug abuse, like alcohol abuse, is also rampant in Florida. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports the following:

  • The national average of drug use is 8%, as is the rate of drug use in Florida
  • 5% of Floridians report using illicit drugs within the past month in comparison to 3.58% on a national average
  • Cocaine, one of the most widely abused substances in Florida based on its geographical location, are mostly abused by young adults 
  • Rates of cocaine overdose deaths rose in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Lee County grew between 2013 and 2017
  • Meth lab seizures in Florida increased since the late 2000’s 

Additionally, the rates of drug and alcohol overdoses increased from 2015 to 2016, as reflected in the following counties by the CDC:

  • Palm Beach — 1,142
  • Brevard — 1,032
  • Duval — 717
  • Miami-Dade — 643
  • Pinellas — 638

Meth and cocaine, as mentioned before, are certainly not the only drugs that are abused in the Sunshine State, nor are they the most commonly abused. Opioids continue to reign as the most widely abused drugs in the area. 


Like most other areas of the country, Florida is experiencing a massive influx in opioid use disorder among its residents. The following statistics are specific to this class of drugs:

  • 68% of reported drug overdoses involved opioids in 2018
  • 6 out of every 100,000 persons in Florida died from an opioid overdose involving  heroin and prescription drugs in 2018
  • Synthetic opioid overdoses occurred in 10.7 out of every 100,000 Floridians in 2018

Opioids remain some of the most dangerous substances of abuse in Florida and throughout the United States. Opioids include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and methadone, to name a few. A growing problem with opioids, especially those illegally obtained, is that it is impossible to know exactly what other substances they contain. For example, many opioid dealers in the area cut their supply of heroin by adding fentanyl to it. This makes that heroin more powerful than usual, which can (and often does) lead to a fatal overdose.

If you are living in the Florida area and need help, know that you are already in an area where there are several resources available to help get you sober. Reaching out and asking for help is the best thing you can do for yourself. 

Addiction Treatment in Florida

Drug addiction and alcoholism is extremely painful and soul-crushing. We at Genesis House understand the ups and downs that you are going through as a result of your addiction. We also know that while you might have trouble stopping, that you probably are not satisfied continuing to use. Thankfully, we can help.

If you are ready to get the help you need to stop drinking and/or using drugs for good, call Genesis House right now. One of our experienced, compassionate admissions specialists will gather information about you and your specific situation to help determine how to proceed in regards to care. You do not need to continue living a life where your addiction is in control. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you get on the road to recovery as quickly and effectively as possible.