West Palm Beach, FL is known for its glamorous nightlife scene, cultural sights and attractions, and the home of incredible entertainment. It is also known as being one of the most expensive areas of the country to live in, which countless homes worth well over a few million dollars. At a glance, West Palm Beach might seem like a city to aspire towards living in. And while this part of Florida is beautiful and surrounded with white sand beaches, it is not exempt from some darker issues — one of which being drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.
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In West Palm Beach, some of the most common types of drugs abused include opioids and benzodiazepines, both of which can result in fatality if improperly consumed. Opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone are present in the bustling streets of West Palm Beach, as are benzodiazepines like Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax. Despite West Palm Beach being home to some of the elite, it is certainly not unscathed by America’s drug problem.
Opioids in West Palm Beach
Prescription painkillers are widely abused across West Palm Beach by people from all walks of life. While these medications are designed to help address severe physical pain, surgical procedures, or cancer, they are often abused for off-label purposes. People are drawn to prescription painkillers because they produce a sense of detachment, relaxation, and relief. Unfortunately, prescription painkillers are so potent that even experimenting with them can quickly lead to a full-blown addiction.
The Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition attributes the rising number of deaths and admissions to treatment programs to widespread painkiller abuse. But what is making the opioid crisis in West Palm Beach even more complex is the addition of fentanyl into the mix.
Fentanyl is an opioid that is 100 times more potent than morphine. Because of its significant potency, dealers in the West Palm Beach area are cutting their stashes of opioids with it to make more of a profit. It is reported that one kilogram of heroin sells for approximately $80,000 in the West Palm Beach area, but a kilogram of fentanyl only costs about $5,000. When dealers swap out heroin for fentanyl, they can increase their profits dramatically. Sadly, most people who abuse opioids may find themselves accidentally overdosing because they were unaware of the presence of fentanyl in their opioids. This is so prominent of a problem that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that deaths caused by fentanyl increased by 97% between 2015 and 2016.
Benzodiazepines in West Palm Beach
While opioids often take the top spot when it comes to addiction in the West Palm Beach area, benzodiazepines are not far behind.
In 2016, fentanyl claimed the lives of 1,390 while benzodiazepines killed 1,769. These are prescription medications that are most frequently used to help treat symptoms of anxiety disorders. They work by helping calm the mind and body down so that those who are experiencing anxiety can regain control of their surroundings. While these medications have proven highly effective in treating anxiety disorders among other things, they are also highly addictive. The draw to benzodiazepines is the highly relaxed feel they produce. Not only do they help with relaxation, but they also provide euphoria and sedation, two things that many people want for themselves. Unfortunately, the abuse of benzodiazepines is extremely dangerous and potentially deadly.
Where Does West Palm Beach Get Its Drugs?
West Palm Beach is no different than most other towns and cities in Florida, all of which are susceptible to drug trafficking due to the state’s location. However, West Palm Beach is a port community, meaning that they take in shipments on a daily basis. Within these shipments can easily be a whole variety of drugs that eventually make their way out into the street.
The area of West Palm Beach is also filled with drug treatment centers, and unfortunately, drug dealers are aware of that. Those who live in this area and who attend treatment locally are likely to relapse or give up on their recovery efforts as a result of the constant temptation to use that surrounds them.
The Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition reports that 90% of heroin users in West Palm Beach choose needles as the main source for their heroin. This is not only dangerous to the users, but also to the rest of the community in the following ways:
Infections – Ensuring the use of clean needles each time while using heroin is not a realistic goal. Not only do users tend to share needles with others, but many times their decision-making skills are compromised due to being under the influence. This has lead to countless infections and diseases, any of which include HIV and hepatitis.
Overdose – In 2020 alone, overdoses in Palm Beach County increased by 23%. Many of these overdoses occur because users are unable to get an accurate measure of the dose they are about to inject. This can increase the risk of overdose.
Public health concerns – Needles, in particular, pose a serious public health concern as they can litter the streets and accidentally poke passersby and spread disease.
The West Palm Beach Response
It is no secret that there are serious drug problems occurring in West Palm Beach, which is why action is being taken. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has enacted a program that is designed to:
Educate the public
Investigate drug dealing and drug use
Research various trends regarding drug abuse
Support the families in the community impacted by addiction
Many states have state agencies that can help assist residents in need of addiction treatment. Unfortunately, Florida does not have a program like that. However, West Palm Beach does have a number of resources that can help individuals grappling with active substance abuse and addiction. They include:
West Palm Beach VA Medical Center
South County Mental Health Center
Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County, Inc.
West Palm Beach Drug Rehab
We understand the challenges that certain communities in Florida experience, which is why we offer West Palm Beach drug rehab to those in need. At Ambrosia Treatment Center, our team of dedicated professionals are committed to helping individuals safely and effectively end their substance abuse for good.
If you or a loved one need help overcoming an active addiction, reach out to our West Palm Beach drug rehab today — we can help.
I was extremely worried about my husband. He was being irrational and not thinking clearly. I felt like he wasn’t going to be accepting of treatment and instead would just go through the motions. But, his therapist and the staff stuck with it and I felt comfortable that I could relax and didn’t have to take on everything on my own.
Ambrosia is the real deal. I received true individualized treatment while attending to my business and personal affairs at home. This relieved the stigma of being in rehab and gave me the independence I needed to tackle my disease with one foot in the real world while receiving clinical supervision and feedback. Thank you for giving me my life back!
My experience at Ambrosia was very positive. They made treatment as comfortable as possible and the amenities were wonderful. The staff and holistic services were great and it was not a stressful environment at all. There was plenty of time for relaxation and self-examination, as well as time to work on my recovery. While I was resistant to go away for treatment it certainly was a wise decision. I’m so glad my family chose Ambrosia. Thank you so much!!
There is not enough time in a day to describe how grateful I am for everyone at Ambrosia. From admissions through post care, every staff member and clinical personnel were kind, friendly, supportive and sincere with getting me the best treatment that I needed. The knowledge and care that everyone provided for me was first class, and extremely beneficial. I would highly recommend Ambrosia to anyone who thinks they might have a problem.
I benefited greatly from Ambrosia. It changed my life. I needed to re-calibrate my thinking, rekindle a strong spiritually connection and learn more about how to stay sober. The staff was terrific and made things go seamlessly. I am looking forward to continuing the work that needs to be done with my therapist.
I experienced many breakthroughs while here at Ambrosia and for that I am grateful.
The living space at Ambrosia Singer Island is extremely comfortable. The rooms and common areas are kept very clean. The counselors are good. I would recommend this facility to anyone looking for a more mature atmosphere (age>30) for their treatment.
The counseling is top notch, some of the best I’ve ever had. The techs were extremely helpful and accommodating. The facility is beautiful. Overall, a great program that I’d recommend to anyone I care about.
Overall, a comfortable experience. Ate well and had time to relax and reflect. Small group is very beneficial. Counselors seem skilled and understanding. A good time away from substances and time to get a clear head.
I love the approach of Ambrosia Treatment Center at Singer Island to heal not only mind, body and soul but to also educate about the addiction and to understand the underlying problems associated with drinking.
This place is awesome.
It was a good experience. If you work the system it works for you. This was my first 30 day program and it was nice to be with other adults and learn how to get along with people again.
To be honest, Ambrosia did help me a lot from the beginning. Very good counselors that really want the best for you, if you are willing to do the work.
It has been an incredible experience, what I needed. I have gone from “why can’t I stop?” to “what can I do to prevent a relapse?”.
Wonderful experience. I enjoyed the serenity and easy going staff. It is easy to talk with the staff, they treat you very professionally, never put you down. If I ever had a question, Everybody got back to me. They made me feel good when they knew me by name the first day. I felt like I fit in. Facility is very clean, lots to do. Nice outside environment. So much I liked
Love Ambrosia and the staff here. Top notch, top notch.
It was a good step. I had a good experience here because of the housing, staff and community.
Great facility. Caring and respectful staff. Good place to complete treatment.
A very structured program with a good balance and helps with co-occurring disorders. Not faith-based program. Wonderful program with highly trained counselors.
My husband struggled with addiction most of his life and has been to several facilities. I hoped that this time he would make a change. He did complete the program….and he has his life back. I have my husband back! After so many years, I am just grateful he’s on the right track. He shared with me that the clinical staff met with him and created a unique program to work for his needs. They were very supportive to him and me. I would recommend this center to anyone that needs support and understanding.
The best decision I ever made was coming to Ambrosia. It was a very positive experience that has aided in saving and shaping my life.