Florida overdose deaths soared 37% in 2020, secord worst in nation

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in July that drug overdose deaths rose by 30 percent across the country in 2020, setting a new national record. Of the more than 93,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S., nearly 7,600 came from Florida, according to provisional data released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

In Florida, these overdose deaths represent a 37 percent rise from 2019.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put Floridians dealing with substance abuse on a collision course for tragedy,” said John Templeton, founder of Footprints Beachside Recovery. “Quarantining and social distancing have taken away strong pillars of support for a lot of people dealing with addiction and the results are starting to show us the dire effects.”

Statistics show the rise in overdose deaths began as soon as COVID-19 arrived in the U.S. According to the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) provisional data, monthly overdose deaths grew by nearly 50 percent between February and May of 2020 to more than 9,000. Prior to 2020, U.S. monthly overdose deaths had never exceeded 6,300.

Opioid-related deaths were a large contributing factor, specifically synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Opioids accounted for about 75 percent of all overdose deaths during the first months of COVID-19, with 80 percent of those involving synthetic opioids.

As a result of deaths related to COVID-19 and drug overdoses in 2020, the U.S. life expectancy has decreased by a year and a half, which is the largest drop since World War II, according to the CDC.

According to Templeton, recovery and overcoming addiction is still a viable solution.

“While these statistics are incredibly alarming, this doesn’t mean a death sentence for those dealing with substance abuse,” said Templeton. “If you’re dealing with addiction and have even the slightest desire to turn things around and get support, we can help you.”

If you or a loved one are suffering from substance abuse and want to learn more about Footprints Beachside Recovery Center, visit footprintsbeachside.com.

About Footprints Beachside Recovery Center: 
Founded in 2008, Footprints Beachside Recovery Center is a small, private, holistic substance abuse treatment center for adults and is located in Pinellas County, Fla. Footprints provides specialized treatment plans for patients from throughout the U.S. and around the world. Opioid addiction recovery programs at Footprints focus on ensuring safe withdrawals and often combine holistic treatment with medication assisted therapies to reduce cravings and provide more successful recovery outcomes for patients.

Overdoses are soaring photo By Yury Zap

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