According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, "Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else or takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor or for a different reason—like to get high. It has become a big health issue because of the dangers, particularly the danger of abusing prescription pain medications. For teens, it is a growing problem:
After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans age 14 and older.
Teens abuse prescription drugs for a number of reasons, such as to get high, to stop pain, or because they think it will help them with school work.
Most teens get prescription drugs they abuse from friends and relatives, sometimes without the person knowing.
Boys and girls tend to abuse some types of prescription drugs for different reasons. For example, boys are more likely to abuse prescription stimulants to get high, while girls tend to abuse them to stay alert or to lose weight."
The use of opiates and opioids is at epidemic levels across the nation, with Hernando County not escaping the destruction these substances are creating in our communities. In 2015, more than 33,000 people died of opioid overdoses across the country. The State of Florida experienced 1,838 deaths from opioids, of which 567 were from heroin use, (Centers for Disease Control).
Overdose Data Medical Examiner Data:
There were 38 deaths in 2015 in Hernando County where opiates were the cause of death or present at the time of death.
In 2015 in Hernando County, Oxycodone caused 5 deaths, Hydrocodone caused 1 death, Methadone caused 3 deaths, Morphine caused 3 deaths,
Florida Poison Control Information Center:
In 2014 there were 118 calls to poison control for exposures due to substance abuse, misuse or suicide attempt with benzodiazepines, opioids, cocaine and heroin.
Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA):
There were 53 ER visits in 2015 in Hernando County for Opioid/Opiate use.
Substance Exposed Newborn Data Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA):
There were 21 Newborns with Drug Withdrawal Syndrome in 2015 at Hernando County hospitals. ACHA
Bayfront Healthcare Spring Hill/Brooksville:
In 2016, 24% of newborns were suffered from Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The typical length of stay for these newborns was 28 to 56 days in NICU.
Treatment Data New Visions:
Of the 213 patients admitted to a withdrawal service at New Visions in 2016, 155 patients were admitted for opioid related withdrawals.
Of 213 patients admitted a withdrawal service at New Visions in 2016, 178 patients reported a history of depression, manic depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia as related to their’ substance abuse history.
In 2016, 513 inquiries were made for a withdrawal service by consumers reporting addiction related conditions. Of these inquiries, 41% resulted in conversion to admission. 50.70% of patients admitted to services had Medicaid or managed Medicaid insurance carriers. 13.15% had Medicare or Medicare HMO carriers, 20.66% had Blue Cross Blue Shield carriers, 15.02% had other HMO or PPO carriers, and 0.47% were cash pay patients.
BayCare Behavioral Health:
In 2013, 153 persons entered treatment at for Opiate/Opioid use at a local treatment provider.
Lutheran Services Florida:
In the 2015/16 Fiscal Year, there were 8,105 persons served in the Northeast Region of Florida where opioids/opiates were reported as the primary, secondary, or tertiary drug of choice, 43% of the total persons treated for substance use treatment.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Data E-FORCSE:
Although the State of Florida has an active PDMP, in 2015, only 25.6% percent of in-state prescribers who issued one or more controlled substance prescriptions were registered to access the system.
In the 2015/2016 fiscal year, the most commonly prescribed controlled substance in the state of Florida was Hydrocodone, (13.8% of all controlled substances) and Oxycodone was the 3rd most commonly prescribed controlled substance (11.5%).
Student Survey Data Community Teen Norms Survey (survey of roughly 2,000 Hernando middle and high school students):
In the 2014/2015 school year, 8% of Hernando middle school and 12% of Hernando high school students reporting using prescription drugs not as prescribed to them in the past 30-days.
Among high school students, they believed that 63% of their peers used prescription drugs not as prescribed to them in the past 30 days, much higher than the rate of actual use of 12%.
In the 2014/2015 school year, 13% of Hernando high school students reported they did not feel their parents would think their use of using prescription drugs not as prescribed would be wrong or very wrong.
Monitoring the Future (national survey):
33% of adolescents who report nonmedical use of prescription opioids used leftover medications from their own previous prescriptions.