Saturday, February 23, 2019

Pompano Beach

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Drug Addiction Treatment in Pompano Beach, Florida

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LJT0DF3pzM

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority is headquartered in the Pompano Beach area, which is also served by multiple bus routes and several interconnected highways. Florida is considered a HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) stronghold by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ); as such, the easy availability to the city of Miami proper, a base for numerous drug trafficking organizations, enables illicit substances to easily enter and exit the city. 

In part due to its proximity to Miami, known by some as a “party city,” drug abuse by young people is a particular issue in Pompano Beach. Pot and alcohol are the most frequently abused of all substances by high school and college students, mirroring national trends. Heroin and cocaine are also common drug scourges, as is ecstasy and other party drugs. Also, as is typical around the country, trafficking of prescription medications – opioids – has become a major issue. Young people have been arrested for stealing the painkillers from their parents’ medicine cabinets, and attempting to sell the medication to support their own habits.

ABOUT THE CITY

Pompano Beach, with a estimated current population of approximately 102,000, is a cultural hub in the state of Florida. As a major region within Broward County, Pompano Beach is north of Fort Lauderdale and considered a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area. Its total area is 24.71 square miles, of which .67 square miles is water. Several notable public figures were born or raised in Pompano Beach, including rapper Kodak Black, football players Tyrone Carter of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Zack Crockett of the Oakland Raiders, and Henri Crockett of the Atlanta Falcons, pro wrestlers Roland “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” Daniels and WWE Hall of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts, boxing legend Ingemar Johansson, Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer, actress Esther Rolle from the television shows Good Times and Maude, and even notorious pornographer Al Goldstein.

Cultural centers and events are common in the city. Annually, Pompano Beach hosts the Pompano Beach Seafood Festival, the Nautical Flea Market at Pompano Community Park and Amphitheater, the St. Patrick’s Irish Festival, the Pompano Beach Holiday Boat Parade, the Holiday Yuletide Parade, and the St. Coleman’s Italian Festival among them. Museums are favorite destinations among residents, including the Pompano Beach Art Gallery, the Meridian Gallery, and the Eli Educational Museum. Area theaters include Poet Productions and the Curtain Call Playhouse. Music performances are frequent.

Parks are plentiful, and highly popular with local families. The two largest are Pompano Park and Fern Forest Nature Park.

The racial makeup of Pompano Beach is the following: 63% Caucasian (including white Hispanic), 29% African American, 18% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 1.5% Asian, with the remaining percentages being Native American, “some other race,” and “two or more races.”

Average income level is under the national average, at less than $50,000 for a household.

DRUG ABUSE AND CRIME STATISTICS

A 2016 study elucidating Patterns and Trends of Substance Abuse in Broward County, Florida, as commissioned by the United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse, included the following information:

  • Following a year-to-year decline from 2007-2012, based on treatment center admissions, a note from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System showed a stabilization of current alcohol use by Broward high school students from 2013-2015.
  • From 2015-2018, studies have shown small year-to-year increases, reversing the earlier trend.
  • In 2017, alcohol remained the primary substance cited by nearly one-third of all treatment center admissions. This figure mirrors the 2015 and 2016 figures.
  • 25% of all middle schoolers in the area have smoked, or use a vaping device, at least once.
  • Of those who use, marijuana is the primary drug of choice by 93% of Broward residents under the age of 18.
  • As with much of the state, local politics continue to conflict with evolving federal laws as it regards the legalization of marijuana. Pot continues to be produced both indoors and outdoors, in widespread efforts to take advantage of the medical marijuana accessibility. Exploitation of pot laws are expected to remain an ongoing issue for the immediate future, as misuse among addicts and casual users is frequent.
  • Opioid deaths are on the rise year-to-year, and show little sign of slowing down. Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl from foreign labs are blamed for the increases, especially those related to adulterated heroin and homemade (or lab-made) copycat medications.
  • Cocaine is the leading cause of overdose death for those aged 35 and above.
  • Meth use is low in both Broward County, and Pompano Beach proper. Statistics as compared with other substances is considered under-the-radar, though the drug class is still abused by some.
  • Ecstasy has been on a moderate year-to-year increase since 2015.
  • Though meth use may be low, synthetic psychoactive drugs are gaining in popularity. This drug class includes phenethylamines, synthetic cannabinoids, tryptamines, piperazines, opiates, and benzodiazepine analogs.
  • Nearly 300 deaths resulted from misuse of prescription opioids in 2017 in Broward County, as compared to just over 100 in Pompano Beach.

Recent Pompano Beach crime statistics include the following, most of which are said to be at least in part (estimated in some studies to be 50%) drug-related:

  • 344 robberies, 503 assaults, 903 burglaries, 3,738 thefts.
  • Related statistics include 5,206 property crimes, 564 vehicle thefts, 931 violent crimes, 77 rapes and seven murders.
  • Crime in Pompano Beach is 98% higher than the national average – nearly double – and 80% higher than the rest of the state of Florida.
  • Due to the above figures, Pompano Beach is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S., in terms of crime rate.

Penalties on the books for possession include:

  • Possession of over 10 grams of any Schedule 1 drug (cocaine, heroin, LSD) is considered a felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • For marijuana, however, also a Schedule 1 drug, illegal possession is punishable by up to one year in jail and a minimum fine of $1000 for a first conviction. For a second conviction, a 15-day mandatory sentence with a maximum of two years and a fine up to $2500.
  • Possession (or use) of drug paraphernalia is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, 12 months probation, and a $1000 fine. Paraphernalia can include the following: syringes, pipes, storage containers, rolling papers, cutting devices, blenders, bulbs and other devices used to store, manufacture, or use.
  • Depending on the nature of the offense, other punishments can include imprisonment, seizure of property as part of forfeiture proceedings, loss of driver’s license and more. For example, Xanax without a prescription is illegal. Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled substance, and a third-degree felony to possess without a prescription. Upon conviction, the offender will lose their driver’s license for two years.
  • Drug sales are typically considered felonies, though in certain instances possession of marijuana specifically may be downgraded to a misdemeanor if there was no intent to sell. In Pompano Beach, as with most of the state, an offender’s prior record is usually taken into consideration.

PRE-INTAKE RESOURCES

Pre-Intake very simply means “prior to intake.” No longer does one need to check themselves into a treatment center without being prepared. The Recover is a perfect example of an internet resource that can be a great friend in this regard.

To determine the extent and nature of one’s addiction, pre-intake questions may include the following:

  • “How long have you been using?”
  • “Do you believe you have a problem?”
  • “Do you think others who know you believe you have a substance-related problem?”
  • “Have others confronted you with questions related to substance abuse?” “Do you ever use alone?”
  • “Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking one particular drug was the problem?”
  • “Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?”
  • “Have you ever been in a jail, a hospital, or a drug rehabilitation center because of your using?

You can find pre-intake sample applications online. In this case, as with any other self-diagnostic tool, the questions as asked are exploratory only. You must speak to a trained and licensed professional for any true diagnosis. Still, such online tools such as a pre-intake questionnaire can be extremely useful. If you can honestly answer those questions, you may be validated, or you may dislike your responses. If you were drawn to the tool, likely both will apply. Regardless, consider your results, and then take necessary action.

There are pros and cons with online resources such as these, particularly when it comes to completely basing your treatment decisions on your own responses. That would be a negative, as remember, such questions are guidelines only without a trained professional to analyze your answers. Regardless of whether such questions are based on true-life examples of treatment center queries (they usually are), you may not be the best arbiter of your responses. Most especially if you are under the influence of any drug, or alcoholic drink. On the positive side, if you can be truthful with your answers, such online questions will certainly provide a glimpse into your condition, and the need for help.

INTAKE SERVICES

Many addicts, or users with a problem whose usage is not yet defined as an addiction, make the mistake of not taking the first step towards sobriety as it regards intake. If you need help in making an informed decision as to what treatment method is right for you, we cannot encourage you strongly enough to, again, speak to family and/or friends who have been there before. Sometimes, a user has a difficult time making such decisions with a clear head.

And once more, if you know of no one who has been through these issues before, please contact one of the centers as listed on this page.

Also, we encourage you to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is holding you back from getting help?
  • Do you believe you have a support system? If so, do you feel comfortable contacting them and speaking about your problem? If not, would you feel more comfortable contacting a professional?
  • Do you believe you are capable of making an informed decision as to your treatment? If yes, you are well-advised to take advantage of one or more of the resources here. If no, you are strongly advised to contact one of the phone numbers listed here, and discuss your reservations.

Again, they are there to help.

During the intake application process, you will be required to list your prescription medications and days and times taken (if “none,” you check “none”), an authorization of medical care, a list of allergies or other medical issues, and a waiver of responsibility. Some applications ask more. A physician or treatment center representative will then review your application for the proper steps, and treatment.

DETOX SERVICES

The concept and practice of detox is typically broken down into three distinct phases: Evaluation, Stabilization, and Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab

Evaluation: As overseen by a doctor, who will determine what drugs are presently being used, how long has the patient been using, and how much and how frequently the patient uses.

Stabilization: As expounded on the site, stabilization differs patient to patient, based on specific substance being abused. This is the end result of the withdrawal phase.

Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab: Many addicts believe that once they complete withdrawal, they are finished with their treatment. That is a dangerous belief, as withdrawal only releases the immediate physical hold of the substance.

Communication is key. Some users are resistant to treatment, most especially when in a treatment center against their will. In this instance, your communication with your specialists will be at risk. Remember, they are there to help you. You have the freedom to ask questions, and the right to receive answers

That is one of the benefits of treatment, a better understanding of your illness.

What is withdrawal? How long does it last?

INPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES

Inpatient treatment can either be PHP (a partial hospitalization providing a highly-structured environment, with typically active treatment of 30 hours per week), the less-intensive IOP (intensive outpatient treatment plan, which requires up to three hours daily over 3-5 days, for a total of nine hours weekly; therapy is usually included, but the patient can live either at their own home or a halfway house during the process), and an RTC (residential).

Though you may be the best determinant of the degree of inpatient recovery resources best suited to your needs, frequently one may need the help of family or friends to help you more clearly identify the treatment options that are most prudent for your needs. From there, only your personal commitment will determine your success

PHPs and RTCs are amazing resources for those with more severe or difficult abuse issues. Both options are highly-structured, especially the former. The importance of structure cannot be understated. You will have a time for medicinal treatment, a time for personal or group therapy, a time to rest, a time for activities …

Frequently, a user has little structure outside of the treatment center. The user is more interested in the high than by scheduling their day via their clock. The structure of PHP treatment, particularly, may be a challenge for some. But, if you allow the treatment to take its course, the end-result can exceed your most optimistic hopes.

So ask yourself: “Do I do well in a structured environment?” “Am I functional in a structured environment, or will I have a better chance to succeed with something less restrictive? As ever, a user if not always the best determinant as to treatment. If a user is high while making the decision, that will be in no one’s best interests. It’s time to commit, with as free a sense of mindfulness as possible.

Should I choose inpatient or outpatient?

OUTPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES

Outpatient treatment allows the patient a certain level of responsibility to remain clean while outside of the treatment center. You will face temptations but will have also learned specific strategies as to how to deal with them. It is up to you to take advantage of those lessons. There is a certain degree of trust on the part of the outpatient treatment administrators that the user will remain clean, and at the same time outpatient treatment allows for the user to remain productive on the outside while still receiving help. If you work, you can schedule your outpatient appointments or check-ins after hours.

Outpatient treatment is a comprehensive approach to wellness, and no less impactful than inpatient services. Please research the importance of outpatient treatment resources on The Recover, or speak to loved ones who have been through the process. Recovery is an ongoing process, which requires a substantive lifestyle change to avoid the ever-present threat of a relapse.

One very important point, though, under this or any treatment circumstance: The entirely of your treatment is a commitment. Outpatient or not, if you miss one appointment you will likely miss another.

That is a recipe for failure. What you allow, you encourage.

Remember this as you move forward in your treatment. There are countless reasons why one would fail, in this or any other environment. Laziness, rigidity, intimidation.

But … there are fewer reasons to succeed: Yourself, first of all, then your loved ones (your collective of family and friends). Which means more to you? The pain of the commitment to get well, or the pleasure of using? If you answer the latter question as your affirmative, consider those loved ones who care about you, and worry about you. 

On that note, let us elaborate upon the concept of commitment for a moment. Some users resent the term, thinking many of those who do not use, or who are not otherwise plagued by addiction, tend to believe commitment is that much easier than it truly is. How can a user commit to anything at all, one may ask, much less treatment if said user is overwhelmed by their addiction?

It is very difficult. Really, it is. But you can do this. You can reclaim your life, as none of us are defined by our addictions.

More information on Inpatient vs. Outpatient

AFTERCARE AND SOBER LIVING RESOURCES

Sober living may be the final step in your formal treatment plan before returning home, but treatment never really ends. Sober living houses provide the interim environment between rehab and mainstreaming back to your natural environment. The reason for the initial formation of sober houses was simple: a person in recovery frequently needed a safe and supportive place to stay, during the vulnerability of early recovery, prior to returning home.

Sober houses are also highly-structured, and most residents are referred to a sober living environment from a rehab center. Requirements and rules are strict, and the list usually includes:

  1. No drugs or alcohol on the premises
  2. No violence
  3. No overnight or sleepover guests, not even family
  4. Commitment to random drug testing
  5. Involvement in a community-related program
  6. Acceptance by a peer group
  7. Acceptance of advice from treatment professionals
  8. Respect for the rules of the house
  9. Following all directions
  10. No swearing
  11. No stealing
  12. No sexual activity between residents
  13. Honesty
  14. As part of a recovering community, if you see or hear any resident breaking the rules of the community, they must be reported immediately to appropriate staff
  15. Anyone on prescribed medication must inform the house manager upon admittance
  16. Residents must attend all sober house meetings
  17. Residents must submit to drug and/or alcohol tests upon request
  18. Rooms must be clean at all times
  19. Chores must be completed without argument
  20. Curfew must be respected. 

Many of the above rules are enforced with a Zero Tolerance Policy. Meaning, if any of these rules are broken even once, you risk being kicked out of your sober living home. If you had experienced structure during your prior treatment to this point, you should be in good shape.

Remember, your treatment is a process. Skipping time, or skipping steps, does neither you nor your community any favors.

Remember, West Babylon, New York has this much in common with any other city in the country: Drug issues abound, as do recovery options. The doors are open. Will you walk through? 

What happens after discharge?

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