Fentanyl has become a Major Concern in Florida

Fentanyl has become a Major Concern in Florida

While addictions are on the rise around the country, Florida is being hit pretty hard. One of the drugs that people are abusing the most is Fentanyl. Some people do have a legit prescription for the drug, but they can and often do still abuse it. Other people are buying Fentanyl from drug dealers. Some drug dealers lace the Fentanyl with other drugs which makes it even more dangerous. If you have an addiction to this drug, be sure to reach out to us here at Harmony Stuart Treatment and Wellness Center today to get help overcoming it.


So, what do you need to know about Fentanyl abuse and addictions in Florida?

Opioid Epidemic Scope in Florida

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, stated that Florida ranks in the top 5 states for total opioid overdose-related deaths in recent years. Out of all the drugs being abused, Fentanyl is near the top of the list. There are many things being done to try to fight the Fentanyl and overall opioid epidemic in this state.

Using Federal Funds to Fight Against Opioid Abuse

Unfortunately, there are already many people who have lost their lives due to a Fentanyl overdose. However, many professionals are using federal funds to try fighting against the opioid abuse epidemic. In fact, there is a program called the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants that helps to fund opioid addiction education and treatment expansions. Some of the things being taught and offered in these programs include:

  • Advancing alternative pain management education efforts
  • Improving public health surveillance
  • Improving and expanding treatment and recovery service options
  • Making overdose-reversing drugs available to more of the public
  • Supporting research to help further fight the opioid epidemic

If you have an addiction to Fentanyl or you want to learn about treatment options to help a loved one fight this type of addiction, the Harmony Stuart team can help. We can discuss a potential treatment plan with you, as well.

First Responders Use Naloxone to Save Lives

Since the Fentanyl abuse epidemic is on the rise in Florida, it is more important than ever for first responders to have access to life-saving drugs such as naloxone. Federal funds are being used to help provide more of this drug to hospitals and first responders around the state.


Naloxone, or Narcan, comes in various forms including a nasal spray which is often administered when first responders arrive at a scene where someone has overdosed. It can be used to reverse the effects of many drug overdoses such as those with:

  • Prescription pain medications
  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Other opioids

In some communities, naloxone is even available to the general public. If you have a loved one or friend who has a Fentanyl addiction, you may want to find out if naloxone is available in your community. It could help to save your loved one’s life.


If someone you know has survived an overdose, talk to them about the treatment programs they can attend. Let them know that you will support them throughout their recovery journey. If they need someone to take them to the treatment center, maybe you could offer to drive them there, as well.

Treatment Options for Fentanyl Addiction

Do you or someone you know have an addiction to Fentanyl? If so, it is crucial to know about the many different treatment options available to overcome this type of addiction. Some of the treatments people can receive include:

  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment programs
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Outpatient program
  • Inpatient program
  • Partial hospitalization program

If you are struggling with Fentanyl abuse, don’t wait any longer to get into a treatment program. The sooner you enter into one or more of these treatment options, the better chance you will have at living a successful recovering lifestyle.


If you want to know the specifics of any type of Fentanyl addiction treatment program, you can talk to someone here at Harmony Stuart today. We can discuss how these programs work or answer any other questions you might have about them.

Get Help for a Fentanyl Addiction Today

Anyone who is struggling with drug abuse should be able to get the help they need. If you have a Fentanyl addiction don’t be afraid to come to us here at Harmony Stuart Treatment and Wellness Center. We can get you into a treatment program to help you get clean and into recovery.


Contact us today to start receiving the help you need to fight a fentanyl addiction.


How to Help a Loved One with an Addiction to Opioids

How to Help a Loved One with an Addiction to Opioids

Do you have a loved one who is addicted to opioids? If so, you may notice certain personality or mood change with them. Your loved one may also have legal, financial or relationship issues.


Sometimes, people who struggle with an addiction are more likely to get treatment when they have family members or friends who encourage them to get treatment. If you follow the tips noted here today, maybe your loved one will enter into an opioid addiction treatment program here at Harmony Stuart Treatment and Wellness Center.

Opioid Addiction Education

If your loved one has an opioid addiction, one of the first things you should do is learn more about this type of addiction. There are many things that can cause someone to abuse opioids. There are also many triggers that can lead to drug use. These are just a couple of the things that you may need to learn about, so you can better help your loved one. After learning about these things, you may want to learn about the various treatment options available to your loved one.

Observing Your Loved One

Another way that you can help your loved one if they have an opioid addiction is to observe them. Some of the things you should look for include:

  • Mood swings
  • Drug abuse habits
  • Symptoms of addiction
  • Relationship issues
  • Withdrawal symptoms

After observing your loved one for a while, you can learn more about their lifestyle and what drugs they may be abusing. The more information you have, the more you will be able to discuss with them about the addiction and what treatments may be best for them.


Many people who struggle with opioid addiction won’t get clean on their own. They often need their loved ones or friends to talk to them about how they are behaving. Sometimes, ultimatums need to be given before a person will agree to enter a treatment program. If needed, you can even have an intervention specialist help with the intervention for your loved one. The purpose of this meeting is to have everyone share how the addiction is affecting them and to let your loved one know they need to get treatment.


It is crucial to make sure your loved one isn’t under the influence of drugs while holding the intervention. Everyone who is attending the intervention should be clean, as well.

Using Naloxone

Unfortunately, many people who abuse opioids do overdose on the drug. Even though you may not want to think about it, it is imperative that you are prepared for an overdose. If your loved one does overdose, you should be able to administer naloxone right away. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that your loved one will survive the overdose.


If you did have to use naloxone on your loved one, it is still important that they get immediate medical treatment. There may be other symptoms of the overdose that need to be managed and treated.

Supporting Them in Treatment and Recovery

If your loved one has an addiction to opioids and they agree to get help, it is important to support them as much as you can throughout their treatment program and in their recovery, as well. Some of the many ways you can support them include:

  • Don’t take any prescriptions or drugs in front of them
  • Don’t take them to places where drugs or alcohol are being used
  • Let them vent or talk to you about anything they are going through
  • Attend meetings with them and go to meetings for family members of addicts on your own
  • Create a calm, peaceful home environment
  • Do activities with them that don’t involve drugs or alcohol
  • Visit them if they are staying at a treatment center (there are often visitor hours)
  • Attend family therapy to work through relationship and trust issues with your loved one

These are just some of the many ways that you can be there for your loved one if they have an opioid addiction. If you want to know more about the treatments your loved one will be receiving, you can talk to our Harmony Stuart team.

Get Help for a Loved One Who Has an Addiction to Opioids Today

Does your loved one have an opioid addiction? If so, there are numerous ways that you can help and support them. From learning about opioid addiction to holding an intervention and offering support in recovery, you can be there to help your loved one in each part of the journey to living a better, substance-free life.

Contact us today to help your loved one get treatment for an opioid addiction.

What is Polysubstance Abuse?

Polysubstance Abuse

At the end of 2019, Jarad Anthony Higgins, known around the globe as rapper Juice Wrld, passed away. A coroner’s report released the following January attributed Juice Wrld’s cause of death to oxycodone and codeine toxicity. Juice Wrld died on December 8, seven days after his twenty-first birthday. Gustav Elijah Åhr, who performed under the name LiL PEEP, died November 15, 2017 due to a combination of fentanyl and Xanax. Like Juice Wrld, Åhr was mere days into his twenty-first year. His birthday was November 1.

Polysubstance Abuse is Surprisingly Common

Juice Wrld and LiL PEEP were young, forward-thinking artists and entrepreneurs. They were only teens when they launched their careers. We won’t ever know what else they might have produced. But their deaths are just symptoms of a much greater problem. Mixing two or more substances together to amplify the effects is called “polysubstance abuse.”

Alcohol is easy to get. It’s also highly addictive. For those reasons, it’s common for people to use their drug of choice while drinking. Generally, alcohol enhances the effects of whatever drugs are in your system. Depressants, when taken with alcohol, can make you dizzy, impair your ability to walk, concentrate, or remember correctly. Stimulants in conjunction with alcohol, keep you from telling how much you’ve had to drink. Consequently, it becomes very easy to drink too much. Drinking while using opiates can slow down the breath, which can lead to loss of consciousness and permanent brain damage.

The Dangers of Polysubstance Abuse

Aside from alcohol, another common practice is to combine benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” include alprazolam/Xanax, clonazepam/Klonopin, lorazepam/Ativan. Examples of opioids are oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and fentanyl. Opioids are painkillers. And benzos are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Both benzos and opioids are depressants for the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS controls speech, memory, mobility, perception, and judgment. But according to the FDA, the biggest risk factor in using opioids and benzos together is their effect on breathing. Opioids and benzos can sedate a person so much that their brain “forgets” to breathe.

In 2001, 9% of people prescribed an opioid were also prescribed benzos. That number rose to 17% in 2013, which represents an 80% increase. In 2019, 16% of all opioid overdose deaths also involved benzodiazepine. As a result, the CDC recommends that doctors not prescribe opioids and benzos together.

No Such Thing as ‘Safe Substance Abuse’

But what if you switch it up a bit? If drinking is a problem, surely using something else would be an improvement? Make no mistake: there’s no such thing as “safe” substance abuse. Avoiding your drug of choice by replacing it with another substance does you no good. Dependence is real. Depriving your body of a drug can cause withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawing from alcohol, benzos, and opioids often requires a medical detox, supervised by a doctor. Substituting one substance for another can complicate your withdrawal. Likewise, abusing a second substance can create dependence on that substance.

But there is hope. Like any addiction, polysubstance abuse can be treated. If you or someone you love is struggling with polysubstance abuse, or any other addiction, call Harmony Treatment & Wellness now at 772-247-6180.

7 Don’ts for Discussing Someone’s Addiction With Them

How to not to Talk about Addiction with a loved one

All loved ones of addicts reach the point where they need to discuss the problem with the person directly. In doing so, you have a chance to convince them to get them the help they need. But you also run the risk of pushing them away and further isolating them in their addiction. Learning to talk to your loved one about their addiction in a way that feels safe is the best way to get them the help they need. 

Avoiding saying or doing these important “Don’ts” will help you create a safe space and help get the best possible result for your loved one. 



1. Don’t Berate, Belittle or Blame


Accusatory tactics like these will likely result in your loved one feeling defensive, angry, and even storming out. Addicts are in a fragile state and are quick to emotionally spiral, which typically drives them to use in order to soothe their pain. Avoid these three B’s to maintain a safe and constructive environment. 



2. Don’t Make It All About You


Your experience of their addiction is part of this, of course, but right now the goal is to get your loved one the help they need. Try to make sure you’re focusing on them. Have you noticed they seem unhappy? Do they look different than they used to? Is their health declining? Rather than focusing on how you’ve been treated, focus on them. Your relationship to their addiction can be discussed later, once they are safely in treatment.  



3. Don’t Attempt to Know What They are Feeling or Experiencing


It is best not to talk to your loved one as if you know what it is like to have an addiction (unless of course you actually do). Every addict’s struggle is unique. Instead of trying to assume what they are going through, ask them. Opening the dialogue creates a space for honesty, transparency, vulnerability and ultimately, change. 



4. Don’t Pass Judgement


In creating a safe and open space, you may learn things you didn’t expect. If they are telling you things that make you  feel inclined to judge their behavior. Don’t. Whatever you do, do not judge them. Support them, listen to them, offer to help. Know that addiction is a disease that takes people away from their true selves. Their addict behaviors are not indicative of them as a person. 



5. Don’t Raise Your Voice


This is a surefire way to create a heated argument, which is very unlikely to end in a positive outcome. Sometimes a person in active addiction will feel accused by any discussion of their substance abuse. Keep your voice level, even if your loved one does not. Do not engage with any outbursts, stay calm, and maintain the safe space. 



6. Don’t use this as an opportunity to air all your grievances 


You might be angry or hurt over things that have happened during their active addiction. It’s understandable and ok to feel these things, but now is not the time to raise them. For now, do not criticize, express anger, or bring up the past in a negative way. The only things you should be talking about are your concerns for their safety and wellbeing. Again: safe space. 



7. Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goal


Keep reminding yourself of the purpose of this conversation: To get your loved one into treatment. Before speaking ask yourself, will what I’m about to say bring us closer to this goal? If the answer is uncertain, don’t say it. 


We hope this helped you learn how not to talk to a loved one about their addiction. However, if you feel you need more help or would like guidance on how best to get your loved one in to treatment, our expert team at Harmony Recovery Group can help. Call us today. We’re here to support you.