Author: Justin Mckibben
Boynton Beach is beautiful area in South Florida, just north of Delray Beach and south of West Palm in Palm Beach County. The area has been described as “America’s gateway to the Gulf Stream.” Boynton Beach has also been hit by the affected opiate epidemic. Roughly 250 overdoses have occurred this year in Boynton, which is the third largest city in Palm Beach County. While some cities have seen similar spikes in overdoses and drug-related deaths for some time, Boynton Beach experienced a record breaking jump in overdoses overnight this past Tuesday.
The reports of drug overdoses started before sunset. By Wednesday morning police and paramedics had been called to the scene for five separate overdose incidents. For one night, this is the most the city of Boynton Beach has ever seen. As if that weren’t intense enough, all the overdoses occurred in a 12-hour span.
Out of the five, two died and three survived thanks to the life-saving efforts of first responders. This is just another example of how hard the opiate epidemic has hit some cities now more than ever. It is also an indication some of the efforts being made in Palm Beach County are for good reason.
Tracking the Problem
The only available details on the five victims so far include:
- 5:19 p.m. report of a man found in a parked car near Seacrest Boulevard
- 9:44 p.m. a man was found in a car at the 7-11 convenience store
- 10:31 p.m. a 40-year-old man was found dead in his bathroom at the Las Ventanas apartment complex on Federal Highway
- 30 minutes later, a man was found near the Rosemary Scrub Park
- 2 a.m. a man identified as Thomas Varner was found unresponsive at the Homing Inn on Federal Highway — a place police know well for its number of overdoses
Varner, who was the final overdose of the five, received CPR from police officers at the scene. After an attempt to revive Varner by paramedics using life-saving medication Narcan, used to reverse the effects of opiate overdose, he was rushed to Bethesda Hospital East. where doctors tried to save him. Unfortunately, Varner did not survive his overdose. Police Captain Mike Johnson, the shift’s commander during the evening in question, expressed his own concerns with the news, saying:
“We’re in the business of saving lives and when you can’t do that, especially when you have two last night that were fatal, that’s frustrating. But we also recognize that we’re just one prong of this public health crisis.”
Boynton Beach is Not Alone
Boynton Beach is definitely not the only city dealing with increasing drug overdoses. The outbreak of overdose rates and overdose deaths is nationwide. For Palm Beach County, the ‘recovery capitol’ also faces its obstacles with addiction.
- In Lake Worth alone there were 220 overdoses from January to August of this year
- Palm Beach County firefighters responded to 1,246 opioid-related overdoses in that same period
- Delray Beach already had about 394 by late September
Thankfully, Narcan and Naloxone are readily available for first responders, and expansion programs continue to progress across the country. In this 12-hour period four of the victims were taken to Bethesda and were given Narcan.
The fifth man he had already died at the scene.
Not Just Heroin?
Another question is concerning recent reports from several spots in the country where other dangerous drugs are being mixed in with heroin. According to Police Captain Mike Johnson this is- “more likely than not a new batch of heroin hit the city in the last couple of days.” So the question becomes, is there a new batch mixed with something even more toxic set to hit Boynton Beach.
At Las Ventanas, where one victim was found dead, police believe they found the painkiller Fentanyl in the apartment. Fentanyl is an opiate said to be more than 50 times as powerful as heroin. This is not the first time Fentanyl has caused some problems for Palm Beach County. Medical examiner records indicate Fentanyl also played a role in more than 100 overdose deaths in Palm Beach County in 2015. Captain Johnson said,
“It’s an obvious public health crisis. Law enforcement is only one component of addressing that health crisis. The amount of heroin that’s being sold on the street and the amount that’s being cut with Carfentanil or Fentanyl is increasing.”
Due to the rising risks present in some communities Palm Beach County is already organizing events and seminars to properly educate and arm the public with resources for overdose prevention.
One of the most prominent aspects of attacking the addiction issue is the existence of effective, supportive and compassionate drug addiction treatment. One powerful way we can prevent overdose is to make sure those suffering get the quality of care they deserve. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.
Author: Justin Mckibben
According to some statistics, opioids killed nearly 30,000 Americans in 2014. This includes illicit narcotics and prescription painkillers. In the last two years there have been reports from all over the country of surges in overdoses and deaths, leading one to believe that number has been magnified with the growing epidemic. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in our country.
1 in 4 families are directly impacted by drug overdose. Whether that is you or not, you can see the impact it has on our communities. Now Palm Beach County is continuing to advocate for more resources to help the people most at risk fight back.
There will be Narcan Training events for local communities of Palm Beach County starting this month. The first seminar will be in Boca Raton, Florida at the St. Jude Reception Hall. This is about saving lives, and with so many lives be lost and others suffering, the time is now to learn how you may save a life.
The Problem in Palm Beach County
In 2014 there were an estimated 2,062 deaths due to prescription drugs. Many of these were opioid-related deaths, and heroin accounts for thousands more. In Florida, the total drug-related death toll increased by 14% in the first half of 2015 compared to 2014.
Palm Beach County saw an overdose rate increase of 425% so far in 2016 compared to 2015. There were 13 overdoses alone in Delray Beach last weekend. Hundreds more overdoses happened throughout Palm Beach County last month. The opiate epidemic has not spared any corner of the county, and many government officials and community organizations are pulling their resources in an effort to create strategies to prevent drug overdoses and save lives.
More about Narcan
Narcan, or the generic form Naloxone, is a life-saving opiate antidote. Some examples of opioids include:
An opioid overdose can cause breathing to slow down or stop completely, putting someone’s life in immediate danger. Narcan works by blocking the effects of opioids and can actually reverse an overdose in order to get medical attention to someone who is in need.
One major plus is that Narcan has no euphoric effects and cannot get someone “high” so abuse is not an issue. The overdose antidote is essentially harmless if there are no opiods present in someone’s system. If given to a person who has not taken opioids, there will be no effect. Narcan can still be effective when alcohol or other drugs are present with opiates.
Administration to opioid-dependent individuals may cause symptoms of opioid withdrawal, including:
- Fast heart rate
There are other measures that can be taken to help ease these symptoms as well.
Narcan and Naloxone expansion programs have become a huge part of states everywhere trying to solve the overdose death outbreak. Many communities have equipped their first responders with Narcan kits and given training on how to administer the antidote. Some police departments in Palm Beach County now carry Narcan or Naloxone kits. Now these programs are trying to empower more people in Palm Beach County.
The first free seminar on Narcan Training is October 24th at 6 o’clock PM. The training takes place in the St. Jude Reception Hall in Boca Raton, Florida. For more information and events, visit the website here.
The seminar is open to the public and will be teaching participants more about the dangers of drug overdose, as well as about Narcan.
Palm Beach County has seen what an opioid overdose can do. It has also seen how effective Narcan and Naloxone can be to helping prevent an overdose from turning into a death. Not only are there expansion programs out there making the medication more available, but the community in Palm Beach County is actively working to help the people understand how to utilize their resources. Putting this life saving medication in reach and teaching people how to use it can help us from having to helplessly watch our friends, family members or neighbors die.
Palm Beach County also has a strong recovery community, and many people got there through effective and innovative holistic drug and alcohol treatment. It is incredibly important to preserve life, and beyond that to improve the lives that are saved. Drug and alcohol treatment can be the first step to a new life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Talk about a power-move… these might just be the kind of game-changers we need to see more of in America.
Even though it is an amazing place for living in recovery, also considered the recovery capitol of the country, South Florida has seen its fair share of trouble in paradise. With an opiate epidemic that has gripped every part of America, even this beautiful community has a population of drug dealers and users, but Florida police are cracking down hard.
As someone who lives here in South Florida as a transplant from the Midwest and an active member of the recovery community it brings a great deal of satisfaction to see the area I now consider my home-away-from-home become a better place.
The last couple months there has been reason to celebrate some of the efforts put forth by law enforcement to make these cities safer. With stories in the news about how bad it gets out there, I figured it would be good to highlight two very recent stories of how police have made massive strides in the right direction when it comes to cutting off influence of the drug dealers in their neighborhoods.
Operation Street Sweeper- Delray City Arrests 28
At the end of April the story broke that police in the city of Delray Beach, Florida had arrested 28 suspected drug dealers in only 10 days as part of an undercover operation. One of the most recent arrests made was that of a man who carried a gun that reports said was called the “cop-killer.” This weapon carried condensed rifle bullets powerful enough to pierce bullet-proof vests, and police are happy to have this dangerous handgun off the streets.
The weapon was traced back to 32 year-old Gerald Petion, who was arrested Sunday evening on charges of:
- Possession and sale of heroin
- Possession of a weapon by a convicted felon
Apparently authorities state that Petion had actually left behind his gun during a police chase two weeks ago.
Delray Beach police began “Operation Street Sweeper” in February with the intention of getting drug dealers in this beautiful South Florida area out of the community. Controlled sales with known drug dealers were repeatedly staged by undercover police officers over the course of months in order to conduct a thorough investigation that lead to these arrests. Police obtained the warrants for these arrests in early April and tracked down many of the dealers, but some are still at-large.
Having arrested over 2 dozen alleged drug dealers in less than 2 weeks time is an impressive move sure to make a heavy impact on the drug traffic in the area. Most of the men and women busted by police were selling heroin, although some sold cocaine and prescription pills.
Operation Dope Death- Boynton Beach Busts 13
Boynton Beach police say an operation they labeled “Operation Dope Death” has helped them dole out a major victory over drug dealers in their community, claiming that this operation lead to:
- Arresting 13 suspected drug dealers
- Confiscated 62 grams of heroin
- 5 grams of cocaine
- 4 grams of marijuana
- $4,300 cash
- 8 cars
- 1 gun
Police say the month-long investigation came after the rising number of calls in response to drug overdoses in the city so far this year, with more than 2/3 cases involving heroin and 5 ending in tragic deaths.
Out of the list of suspected drug dealers involved in the arrest, several were given multiple charges and suspected of dealing in multiple substances that are all controlled and dangerous.
10 have been booked into the Palm Beach County Jail since Monday, and there was even a 17-year-old suspect arrested and charged with the sale of heroin.
With these two substantial operations the police departments in South Florida are working towards dissolving a huge segment of the drug trafficking in the area, and hopefully as the community sees this more resources will come together to make moves toward even more change. It will take time, but it appears possible to level the playing field in more ways than one.
Paradise is nowhere near lost, but it will take work. The same is true for the lives of those impacted by addiction. Even in the darkest times having a willingness to move forward can save lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We want to help. You are not alone.
Author: Justin Mckibben
Addiction and substance abuse are very real issues facing Americans today, and as a matter of fact these issues impact the entire world in many aspects. We constantly hear more and more about synthetic drugs made from chemical compounds coming from overseas, the opiate epidemic hitting households in every corner of the country, and the failed War on Drugs that has included both victims and cartels from all over. Addiction is very real and very present in our world, so for those who want to find help, Palm Partners offers a solution, but some might ask- why detox in Delray Beach, Florida?
We want to take a detailed look at that question and explain as best we can why detox in Delray Beach, Florida is such a great way to get started on a path to lasting and successful sobriety.
What is Detox?
The safest and often most efficient way to get through the physical aspect of drug addiction is to attend a safe medical detox. Detox is the first level of care for a proper drug or alcohol treatment program, and with a detox in Delray Beach, Florida there is a serene and comfortable atmosphere created for this initial part of the process.
Many people who choose to get help arrive painfully addicted to alcohol and other drugs and cannot safely or successfully stop drinking or using on their own. Frequently the withdrawals from substance abuse are far too discomforting and after a while a lot of people give up the fight. This is where a detox in Delray Beach can help.
Detox in Delray Beach, Florida: Effective and Professional
When talking about detox in Delray Beach, Palm Partners consistently provides the highest level of professional patient care, and we take pride in how we treat people.
Upon arriving at detox in Delray Beach, Florida an individual is given an evaluation to assess the most effective and healthy treatment program for them. Using a drug screening the staff will see what drug(s) are in your body and how much, then a licensed physician will prescribe you certain medication in order to safely and comfortably taper you off. The purpose of these medications is to help you safely and effectively transition from active use to abstinence without suffering through the extent of their debilitating side effects.
The medical staff for Palm Partners will monitor your condition as well as be responsible for administering your medication, and during the evaluation you will meet with a staff of professionals who will take your social and medical history- asking you to tell them about your drug use and about any other physical or mental health conditions, if any, to be sure they are providing the best care pertaining to your needs.
Detox in Delray Beach, Florida: Mental Health
Not only with the doctor and medical staff help determine the details of your taper to wean off the drugs, but you will also meet with a psychiatrist to be evaluated and prescribed any psych meds that you may need.
Oftentimes, people who abuse drugs have what is called dual diagnosis, meaning they have another condition co-existing issue such as:
- Anxiety disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating Disorder
The Palm Partners program believes in a holistic approach that addresses dual diagnosis in all areas of treatment, and Palm Partners detox in Delray Beach, Florida believes this is all about staying healthy and comfortable while your body adjusts to not having the drugs or alcohol it has grown physically dependent on, without it being too much of a shock to the system. Having a strong and experienced medical staff is key to successfully helping the process of detox in Delray Beach, Florida be a relaxing and positive influence on the continued recovery process.
Detox in Delray Beach, Florida: Climate Change
To be completely real, the change in climate is definitely an easy way to inspire some. The beautiful atmosphere of sunny South Florida is sure to make an experience that might be viewed as frightening or difficult feel a lot more serene and supportive.
When trying to detox in more comfortable environment there’s nothing like warm weather, sunshine, and beaches to set the mood. But this isn’t the only climate change we’re talking about.
Delray Beach, Florida just happens to be home of an amazing recovery community, with support groups and fellowships all over and a wide variety of ages and personalities. So besides the fact that you can take a shot at changing your life in paradise, it is also pretty solid sobriety in the area with a lot of support groups and active advocates.
Drug and alcohol rehab programs are designed to put you in the best position to succeed with as many resources as possible, and it all starts with a healthy detox, so why not detox in Delray Beach, Florida? If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
If you are looking to get off of drugs or alcohol, detox centers in Palm Beach County are the best choice to look into. Not only is Florida a beautiful place, but it is the recovery capital of the world and Palm Beach County is saturated with sobriety. Detox centers in Palm Beach County offer you a safe detox, treatment options and great after care plans.
Detox Centers in Palm Beach County: A Safe Detox
It is so important to make sure when you are detoxing, you are safe about it. When you are going through physical withdrawals they can sometimes be life-threatening. Take alcohol and benzodiazepines for instance, the withdrawals from those substances can actually kill you. Withdrawals from opiates, cocaine/crack, amphetamines and other drugs are very uncomfortable but not as big of a risk as alcohol and benzos. I recommend seeking medical attention when going through physical withdrawal for any substances.
Once you get to one of the detox centers in Palm Beach County, they will evaluate you first to see what is in your system and what type of medication to use for your detoxification. They will usually get you started on the medication right away (depending on if you are in full blown withdrawal or not) and slowly wean you off over a period of anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks. It all depends on the person and their body. All of our bodies work differently so we all react differently to physical withdrawals.
Detox Centers in Palm Beach County: Treatment Options
After you’ve safely completed your stay in one of the detox centers in Palm Beach County, they will recommend you go to a treatment center for further help. In detox the purpose is usually just to get the drugs and alcohol out of your body and make sure your withdrawals are as minimal as possible. In treatment, you will be assigned a therapist and have individual and group therapy sessions throughout the week. The rehab technicians typically take you out to do different activities on the weekends and to 12-step meetings in the evenings during the week. In treatment you learn about yourself and work on your issues with addiction through different types of therapeutic methods.
Detox Centers in Palm Beach County: After Care & Halfway Living
Upon completing your inpatient stay in rehab, you will be moved to the next phase which is the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). In IOP, you don’t live on property of the treatment center anymore but you come back during the week for group and individual therapy. It is highly suggested you go to a halfway house or sober living environment during this crucial time in your early recovery. In a halfway house you are drug tested, given a curfew, required to do chores, get a job, pay rent weekly and go to meetings.
Detox Centers in Palm Beach County: Meetings & Long-term Sobriety
Detox centers in Palm Beach County start you on the long journey of recovery. Recovery is a journey and not a destination; therefore it is something you will continue to work on to better your life. Going to 12-step meetings really changed my life for the better and helped me to continue into long-term sobriety. Working with a sponsor, doing my steps, working with sponsees, going to meetings and helping others is what I do to stay sober today and that all started by going to one of the detox centers in Palm Beach County. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.