Journal of Drug Abuse Open Access

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Treatment Availability and Overdose Numbers in Florida Counties

April Chase

Substance abuse rates within the United States have skyrocketed over the past few years, leading to increased costs to society and ultimately to overdose deaths. Most adults who suffer from a substance use disorder also suffer from a mental health disorder, which makes treatment much more difficult. Studies have also shown that there are regional differences in substance use, overdose deaths and the locations of substance use treatment centers. Some of the relationships between these variables have been examined, but little is known about the relationship between the prevalence of treatment and how it relates to the rates of overdose deaths. This study seeks to examine how the number of mental health providers, substance use treatment centers and portion of the county living in rural areas affects the overdose death rates within counties in Florida. As the opioid crisis continues to grow, it is imperative to determine effective policies to treat substance use disorders. As Florida is a largely diverse state containing large cities, the results of this study will help determine if further studies around the country should be conducted. Implications for policy and practitioners will also be discussed.