Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Mississippi: Addiction Facts

Millions of Americans struggle with addiction. At present, there are about 19 million Americans dealing with substance abuse. Drug-related illnesses are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports the problem is getting worse. In its latest survey on substance abuse and mental health, they found that 56,000 lost their lives due to overdoses. The problem has gotten substantially worse in recent years, leading the government’s leading health agency to declare substance abuse an epidemic in America, with comparable significance to cancer and obesity.

Opioids, including heroin, are primarily driving America’s substance abuse epidemic. The number of people overdosing on prescription pills and other opioids has increased exponentially in the past decade. In fact, nearly two-thirds of 2015’s overdose deaths were the result of either heroin or synthetic opioids.

Mississippi Struggles with Prescription Pills

Addiction Treatment - Mississippi StatsAddiction doesn’t discriminate by gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or class. It does, however, follow different patterns in each state throughout the nation. The opioid epidemic has hit Mississippi hard. According to the Mississippi Department of Public Health, Mississippi has one of the heaviest rates of prescription painkillers per capita. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 259 million prescriptions were written for painkillers in 2012, almost one per person living in the United States. In Mississippi, there were 120 prescription painkillers per 100 people. That’s enough for every person living in the state to have at least one bottle.

Male Overdose Rates Higher

This unfettered access has led to an increase in overdoses and illnesses among Mississippi citizens. There were 1,229 overdose deaths in Mississippi in 2011, the last year the state compiled data. Three-quarters of those individuals had prescriptions for controlled substances, mostly for painkillers (53%) or sedatives like benzodiazepines (37%). Statistically, men are twice as likely to die from a prescription pill overdose as women are. Equally troubling is the fact that families of those who abuse prescription pills are equally affected: Twice as many children visited hospital emergency departments for medication poisoning than from household products, and there has been an increase in the number of babies born with drug withdrawal problems.

Overall, Mississippi’s prescription drug problem has jumped since 2000, when the American Medical Association designated pain as the fifth vital sign, prompting doctors to write more prescriptions for narcotics. Sales for prescription opioids quadrupled between 2000 and 2014.

Mississippi Ill-Equipped to Handle the Problem

These statistics reflect a disturbing trend in Mississippi – the prescription pill problem is not getting better, and Mississippi isn’t properly equipped to treat its influx of addicts. When we put this into context, these numbers take on new meaning. Each one of Mississippi’s 1,200 overdose deaths was someone’s loved one – a father, a mother, a daughter, a son. While there may be inherent risk factors for addiction, anyone can be an addict, especially when highly addictive substances are readily available. In reality, responsible prescribing behavior, early intervention, and effective treatment could have prevented much of the problem.

Addiction is a chronic and complex medical condition that requires a supportive existing infrastructure that can provide comprehensive treatment. Patients who receive evidence-based intervention in a timely manner are more likely to achieve the positive lifestyle changes associated with sustainable recovery.

Resources and Commitment Needed

While a patient must have a lifelong commitment to sobriety, he or she must also have the proper resources to heal and recover from addiction. While the state does receive some federal funding to rehabilitate people with substance abuse issues, it’s not enough to treat the prescription pill epidemic. Sadly, only 11% of people in the United States who require treatment actually receive it.

The sheer number of people struggling with addiction in Mississippi makes it difficult for mental health professionals to ensure delivery of care. For this reason, addicts and their families have been seeking treatment outside the state. Florida has reputation for excellence in effectively treating and rehabilitating patients from all over the country.

Rest, Relaxation, and Healing in the Sunshine State

When it comes to treatment and addiction recovery, each center in Florida has a different approach. All of us, however, have a common goal – to provide evidence-based, compassionate care to all who walk through our doors. In the past few years, Florida has emerged as a leader in addiction medicine excellence. This reputation has earned us a new nickname, the Recovery State. This is the reason why visitors from all over the globe come to us to begin healing. Florida treatment centers are ready to welcome anyone looking to make a positive lifestyle change.

The opioid epidemic has hit Mississippi particularly hard, in part because of the ready availability of prescription drugs. If you or a loved one is fighting a battle with addiction, you may already feel lost. But health and hope are waiting for you here in Florida. The nation’s leading experts are ready to guide you on the road to a happy, healthy life.

The Treatment Center Is Blazing the Trail

The Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches is the premier addiction treatment facility in the state. We pride ourselves on being the foremost leader in the field of addiction medicine and mental health. By hiring the most qualified experts available and providing evidence-based interventions rooted in compassion and empathy, we set ourselves apart. We start with the understanding that each patient is different, and we tailor interventions to meet those needs. Our programs use a combination of techniques including, but not limited to, group therapy, individual sessions, 12-step methodology, and medically supervised detox.

We are located just two miles from Florida’s scenic beach, which residents see as the opportunity to relax and reflect. Enjoy the beauty of nature while making peace with your past and finding confidence in your future. Healing is waiting for you at the Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches – come visit us, and we’ll take the road to recovery together.

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