When people have an injury or after surgery pain, their doctor can prescribe an opioid for relief. These drugs, which can provide immense pain relief, can also cause dependence and addiction. Nevertheless, developing tolerance and dependency on such drugs is not the end. People successfully recover from opioid addiction with the help of mental healthcare workers in recovery centers and hospitals all the time.
Opioid abuse is a public health crisis in the US. According to statistics, many Americans are less likely to lose their lives in a car accident than in an opioid overdose, which kills hundreds of people daily. The facts of the opioid crisis in Florida are equally disheartening. More substance abuse counselor jobs are opening every day to help people as they struggle with addiction.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are an umbrella of drugs manufactured from the opium plant. Using opioids for long periods can lead to tolerance, dependency, and severe withdrawal symptoms. Opioids include morphine, codeine, methadone, hydrocodone, heroin, and more.
There are several warning signs of an opioid use disorder, such as:
- Sleepiness or sedation
- Pinpoint pupils
- Slowed breathing
- Slowed reaction
The Rise of Opioid Addiction in Florida
Florida has been grappling with a significant rise in opioid addiction cases and related deaths since the 2000s.
Tourism is the backbone of Florida’s economy. In the recent past, many visitors made repeated trips to the state not to enjoy the beaches and parks but to access easy and cheap prescription opioids at unscrupulous walk-in private clinics.
A 2018 law began holding doctors and health professionals more responsible when dispensing controlled substances. For instance, pharmacists and other authorized dispensers must report certain pieces of information to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database.
The launch of Florida’s Opioid State Targeted Response Project is another step toward combating opioid misuse and related dangers. The project’s objectives include preventing opioid-related deaths, increasing the number of trained professionals offering addiction treatment, preventing opioid addiction among the youth, and helping those with opioid addiction in FL find the necessary help.
Breaking the Addiction Cycle
After someone becomes addicted to opioids, attempting to quit the drug can be dangerous, even fatal. Mental healthcare workers are crucial in providing support at every step of the recovery journey.
Breaking the cycle of addiction involves a few phases, including:
- Detoxification – Is the first stage of treatment and usually occurs in a hospital or addiction recovery center. Medical professionals will monitor the individual around the clock to ensure their safety and comfort throughout their withdrawal.
- Rehabilitation – The next phase of treatment involves staying at an addiction recovery center where mental healthcare workers will help the individual develop healthy coping mechanisms and skills to deal with triggers and cravings.
- Aftercare – Once an individual has completed detox and rehabilitation, they will need to continue receiving support from mental healthcare workers and attend weekly counseling sessions or support groups.
Treating the Florida Opioid Epidemic
Mental healthcare workers and medical professionals are on the front lines of treating the Florida opioid epidemic. There are many different types of treatment available, and the best course of action will vary depending on each individual’s unique circumstances.
Finding a career in addiction treatment can be an enriching, compassionate opportunity if you are looking to begin in the healthcare industry. Some common positions in the field include:
- Medical professionals
- Case managers
- Psychiatric nurses
Addiction is a complex disease, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Mental healthcare workers play a vital role in helping those struggling with addiction find the treatment that best suits their needs.
Find a New Job at Behavioral Health Jobs to Help Those in Need
If you are passionate about helping others and want to make a difference in your community, consider a career in behavioral health. At Behavioral Health Jobs, we specialize in connecting talented mental healthcare professionals with the right job openings.
You can help people struggling with opioids to turn their lives around and get back on track. Visit our website to browse our current job listings and submit your resume today.