St. Petersburg is the fourth most heavily populated city in the state of Florida, and has a population nearing a quarter of a million residents. It's the second largest city in the Tampa Bay Area which is the second largest metropolitan area in Florida with a population of about 2.8 million citizens. The city of St. Petersburg is located on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Tampa Bay.
St. Petersburg was nicknamed the Sunshine City due to a purported average of 361 days of sunshine each year. It is a popular vacation destination for both foreign and American tourists, and has long been one of the most popular retirement destinations in the US. This reputation has the led another of St. Petersburg’s nicknames as the city is also called God's waiting room, but in more recent years the population been shifting in a younger direction.
The city is known for its vibrant arts scene, and Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays play their home games there. St. Petersburg holds the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine for a stretch in the late 1960s that lasted for 768 days.
The St. Petersburg Addiction Problem
St. Petersburg is in the middle of the area which has been designated the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The region was officially deemed a HIDTA in 1998 as a response to an increase in smuggling of cocaine and heroin. Crackdowns targeting Miami and Puerto Rico made central Florida, including the Tampa Bay area, a new favorable point of entry for cartels. Since the time of being named an HIDTA the area has never lost that distinction, and continues to be a major transportation route for large-scale Mexican drug trafficking organizations. These organizations are the highest level of smugglers and wholesale distributors of heroin, ice methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin in the region.
For St. Petersburg residents this equates to a high availability of illicit addictive street drugs. The widespread availability means more people are exposed to substance abuse which is directly related to an increased rate of addiction issues in St. Petersburg. This leads to a situation where if addicts are left untreated their numbers could potentially continue to rise exponentially.
In the past decade St. Petersburg and Tampa have become a major source area for diverted controlled prescription narcotics in the eastern part of the United States. Pill dealers and users would often travel to the area to obtain the medications through unethical means from pain clinics which became known as “pill mills”. These clinics would make prescription opioid pain relievers available to clients who primarily paid cash for prescriptions without legitimate medical conditions. Recent legislation has targeted these pill mills, and has been successful in limiting the availability of these drugs, but the damage of widespread painkiller addiction has already been done.
A recent story from the The Tampa Tribune website reported that this created a situation where heroin will most likely be the next epidemic in St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area. The story points out the fact that while the deaths for heroin overdose in the area have remained relatively low, experts fear that the crackdown on prescription drug abuse could cause a reversal in the trend. Since heroin affects the same area of the brain that painkillers do it becomes a cheaper alternative to users who can no longer obtain pills when they are experiencing an uncomfortable withdrawal. This leaves substance abuse treatment as the painkiller addict’s last chance, and no one understands this better than St. Petersburg drug rehab facilities.
As drug trends continue to change drug treatment facilities evolve to better serve their public. Regardless of what the primary substance of abuse for treatment admissions is, St. Petersburg drug rehab facilities have experience dealing with it. While alcohol and marijuana are currently the substances that more people enter treatment for in the state of Florida, over the years the remaining illicit drugs on the list have been influenced by the changing drug trends in the region. Cocaine, prescription medications, methamphetamine, and heroin all send a significant number of users to rehab each year, and each substance has had periods of increasing popularity throughout the past decades. This means that St. Petersburg drug rehab facilities know the unique problems that each substance creates for addicted individuals, and they offer services designed to help effectively manage the symptoms.
To understand the current trends in St. Petersburg it is helpful to look at the primary treatment admissions statistics in the state of Florida. The following list contains the substances that users enter drug rehab facilities for most often in order:
Other opiates/Prescription pain medications
A large percentage of the people who become addicted to alcohol and/or drugs have the misconception that there are no treatment options available to them. Others have attended treatment programs in the past but were unable to stay clean or sober, and may now believe that their situation is hopeless. The truth is that St. Petersburg rehab facilities are readily available with options for people of all means and backgrounds. Also, recovery is considered a long-term process, so temporary setbacks or relapses are not an indication of failure. Because of the long-term effects of addiction, substance abuse treatment facilities continue to be the most effective way to learn to achieve and maintain abstinence, and to receive the necessary support to get back on track if a relapse has occurred.
How to Find St. Petersburg Drug Rehab Facilities
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs it can seem as though the future is hopeless. There are a wide variety of rehab program options available, but that can make the decision-making process seem overwhelming. Fortunately finding the right rehab is probably much easier than you think because there are treatment facilities specialists that can help you get through the entire process. Working with a treatment specialist can help you decide on what the best type of program will be, and help you narrow the list of choices based on the addict’s individual needs.
There are addiction treatment options available in both inpatient and outpatient settings. There are long-term and short-term programs which can be equally effective as a part of a long-term addiction recovery plan. Addiction is difficult, but it can be overcome with the right help. No addict should feel that they have to face it alone, and no addict should feel that they are too far gone to be helped by a drug rehab program.
A solution to a substance abuse problem is within every addict’s reach. Find the best St. Petersburg drug rehab facility right now as there is no reason to wait to make this important life-changing decision. With help addicts can learn to live a sober life, and get back to feeling like their old selves. Millions of addicts and alcoholics have already gotten clean for good, and the only addict who is unable to recover from their condition is the one that never seeks help.