Substance Use and Abuse in Miami- Florida, Dade County


Substance Use in Miami, Florida: Discussion Question Problems that impact populations are vast, and social media is getting involved more than ever. Choose one of the following population health problems to focus on: Substance use and/or abuse Environmental health (air, water, ground, energy, climate, etc.) (Links to an external site.) has a wealth of information Violence […]

Substance Use and Abuse in Miami- Florida, Dade County

Substance abuse in Dade County is a significant health problem affecting most of the population. With a history of drug and crime activities, substance abuse is a historical problem for the Miami region, which once operated as a cocaine hub for the United States. For instance, marijuana use got identified as a severe substance abuse issue among teenagers (SAMHSA, 2019). With Hispanics making up nearly 70 percent of the population, 13.2 percent of the population use marijuana, with an estimated 1.3 percent exhibiting a usage disorder (SAMHSA, 2019). Additionally, the community also features prescription drugs, heroin, opioids, and alcohol disorders. For younger populations, marijuana remains the primary drug leading to addiction in patients under 18 recorded in drug rehab centers (SAMHSA, 2019). Alcohol, however, remains to be the most used and abused substance in the world and Miami-Dade County among underage and adult populations. Therefore, drug rehab and detox facilities have become essential to community healthcare in Miami- Dade.

The drug abuse health problem in Miami-Dade drew the attention of the national and state governments, along with organizations that offer the needed assistance in tackling drug abuse. With 7.3 percent of the Miami-Dade population above 12 years old exhibiting substance abuse problems, organizations such as the South Florida Behavioral Health Network (SFBHN) work to ensure these persons access the needed healthcare (Refer to Fig.1 in appendix). SFBHN operates a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide patients at risk or who are affected by substance abuse receive much-needed support and healthcare (AAC, 2019). In Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, SFBHN also works with mental illness disorders which get closely associated with substance abuse. Furthermore, the programs offered by the organization become crucial in coordinating recovery and aftercare services for residents of these communities, which help them access affordable healthcare plans. Programs such as Thriving Minds address the needs of individuals suffering from substance abuse and mental illness, such as housing, community support, and follow-up with related healthcare workers (AAC, 2019). Through their program, SFBHN develops databases that allow them to create behavioral health treatment protocols similar to the ones found in healthcare systems.

Healthcare providers are essential parts of the medical assistance offered by the SFBHN organization. Community nurses can help nonprofit organizations find patients in need of assistance in dealing with drug abuse, which can initiate their recovery process. For example, community nurses can practice patient advocacy by educating individuals at risk of developing substance abuse or suffering from the same available resources in the community for their treatment at low costs (Jenkins & Gordon, 2015). Organizations such as SFBHN offer free assistance to substance abuse patients, and linking up patients at risk of developing drug dependence could prevent a full-blown substance abuse problem. Additionally, a community nurse can offer compassionate and kind services to substance abuse patients, encouraging them to trust their advice, such as seeking guidance from organizations such as SFBHN. With a trusting relationship between patients and nurses, SFBHN can attain the information it requires at the community level for research and assisting people with substance abuse disorders (Jemal & Smith, 2015). This way, nurses can help organizations such as SFBHN assist drug abuse victims.

Tweet: Stand up for your freedom against substance abuse. Connect with your local community health nurse for more assistance. #getconnected#SFBHN


American Addiction Center (AAC). (2019). Miami Metro Area Addiction Treatment – Recovery First Treatment Center. Retrieved from

Jemal, A., & Smith, V. (2015). Process evaluation of a community collaborative board: Using community-based participatory research to create a substance abuse/health intervention. Drug And Alcohol Dependence146.

Jenkins, J., & Gordon, A. (2015). Substance use disorder prevention and treatment in stigmatized patient populations: Ripe for innovation. Substance Abuse36(1), 1-2.

. Behavioral health barometer (2019). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5. Retrieved from



Fig. 1. Percentage of Florida population above 12 years with substance abuse problems.

Fig. 1. Percentage of Florida population above 12 years with substance abuse problems.

Fig. 1. Percentage of Florida population above 12 years with substance abuse problems.

Source: (SAMHSA, 2019).

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