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Florida drug overdose deaths skyrocket nearly 50%, experts offer help

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. – Overdose deaths in Florida in 2020 increased 42.4 percent according to a provisional count by the CDC, and experts from Footprints Beachside Recovery Center are warning the community that the increase could become a pattern if the issue is not addressed quickly.

According to the CDC’s 12 month-ending provisional report issued on April 14, Florida reportedly had a 42.4 percent increase in deaths associated with drug overdoses.

Team members from Footprints Beachside Recovery Center, a rehabilitation facility specializing in alcohol and opioid substance abuse and addiction treatment in Treasure Island, are spreading the message that overdose death can be prevented if those struggling with addiction and families act quickly.

“We have been warning people that there was a significant spike in alcohol and substance abuse in 2020, and the fact that this recent report seems to substantiate what we feared is sad and terrible,” said John Templeton, founder of Footprints Beachside Recovery Center. “As we see too often, once these habits form, they can be increasingly difficult to break without proper guidance and even tragically become deadly.”

According to the provisional report, an increase was experienced nationwide, however, Florida was 13.6 percent higher than the national average during the same time frame. The report makes predictions versus actual reported overdose deaths, as drug overdose deaths are often reported with no cause or pending investigation.

“Going through quarantine, the fear associated with the pandemic, perhaps the loss of a loved one, or a job, clearly adds to the stress people face and it certainly affects mental health and causes some to turn towards increased drug and alcohol use,” said Templeton. “For those who struggle with chemical dependency issues, now is great time to seek help and establish a healthy routine. Recovery is about connection, and isolation usually leads further into depression and progression in drinking or drug use.”

However, experts say there is hope.

“If anyone is struggling with drug or alcohol dependency, contact a professional to seek help,” said Templeton. “No matter how bad the case, we’ve seen people recover from their addiction.”

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.

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