Substance Abuse and Rehab Statistics for Florida

Florida, aka the Sunshine State, is famous for its beautiful beaches and art deco architecture. However, the region’s high rates of substance abuse are less commonly discussed. The state is a key entry point into the US for drugs, resulting in increased availability and abuse throughout it.

Alcohol Abuse Statistics in Florida

Alcohol is normalized and engrained into US culture so much that half of the people regularly drink it. The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that 50% of the population drinks alcohol each month.

However, we often forget that consumption of the substance is a risk factor for a number of serious physical and mental health conditions – impacting many organs such as the brain, liver, and kidneys. This is especially true when alcohol is drunk in excessive amounts (binge drinking) or over the long term.

Despite the risks involved, a study found that around 18% of adults in Florida were involved in binge drinking in 2019. In 2020, most people who engaged in excessive drinking were between 18-44 (around 20% of that population) and were male (19%).

This data also uncovered that individuals with incomes between $50,000-$74,999 were involved in binge drinking the most, with people earning less than $25,000 doing it the least.

Alcohol Abuse Statistics in Florida

Over the past two decades, alcoholism has been on the rise in Florida. As the coronavirus pandemic forced everyone inside and removed as much contact from family and friends exacerbated this issue further.

Alcohol Addiction Rates in Florida

Between 2019 and 2020, America’s Health Rankings annual report found that 9.6% of adults and 2.2% of adolescents reported having an alcohol use disorder. This puts Florida below the national average values, at 11% and 2.9% respectively.

What is the Death Rate Caused by Alcohol Use?

The number of alcohol-related deaths in the US has generally been increasing since 1999. An estimated 95,000 people (around 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes each year in the country. Florida itself follows the same upward trend, with the number of alcohol-related deaths increasing by 72% from 2012 to 2019.

A study found that across the US, the highest alcohol-related deaths occurred among people aged 55-64 years old. It also showed that Native Americans and Alaskan Natives experienced the highest alcohol mortality rates. Additionally, women saw the largest increase in alcohol-related deaths.

Drug Abuse Statistics in Florida

The Office of National Drug Control (ONDCP) published the Florida Drug Control Update in order to keep track of substance abuse in the state and keep track of if policy approaches to tackle drug use are effective. They found that more than eight percent of the population of Florida used drugs within the past month.

Florida’s Opioid Epidemic

Although opioids are not the most used substance in Florida, they are the biggest cause of drug addiction and drug-related deaths. According to the Florida Department of Health, opioids were involved in nearly half of the non-fatal overdose emergency department visits in 2021, increasing by over 2,000 people from the year before. These drugs are also highly linked to the overdose death count in the state, with over 80% involving opioid abuse.

Drug Abuse Statistics in Florida

What is the Addiction Rate in Florida?

Substance abuse statistics show that over 20 million people are living with a substance use disorder across the US. This mental health condition can be defined as the compulsive use of a substance despite its negative impact on an individual’s health and well-being. The powerful condition overrides the decision-making and reward centers of the brain, forcing behavior toward taking the dopamine-inducing substance over and over again.

Around 8% of Florida’s citizens are using illicit drugs at one time, equating to around 1.5 million people. However, reports show that 2.5% of the population has a drug abuse disorder. This is lower than the national average of 3%.

What is the Death Rate Caused by Drug Abuse?

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Florida’s numbers for drug overdose death are much higher than the national average – with over 7,0000 deaths in 2020 being from drug use. This came only second to California with nearly 9,000. The average age range for drug overdose deaths in the state was 35, aligning with the average of the rest of the country.

As mentioned, opioids have been found to be the biggest life-taking substances. The synthetic opioid fentanyl is especially dangerous, being involved with more than 60% of Florida’s overdose-related deaths in 2019. This substance is around 50-100 times for potent than morphine, making it much more addicting and deadly.

Over previous years there have been public announcements warning Floridians about fentanyl being cut into other drugs – such as cocaine and pills like Xanax, Percocet, and Oxycontin. The distribution of these fentanyl-laced drugs also bumped up death rates linked to the substance.

Tackling the Issue

Tackling the Issue

Government agencies, the medical community, and the public are becoming increasingly aware of addiction and the issues surrounding it. Over time, education and policy changes will hopefully lead to a decreased stigmatization and rate of overdose deaths.

Between 2019-2020, the Florida Department of Health’s annual report found that the amount of opioids being prescribed declined, along with the amount of overdose deaths linked to prescription drugs. Plus, the mortality rate from the two most common opioid prescription drugs decreased by 5.7% and 2.9% respectively.

Despite this positive progress, the COVID-19 pandemic added layers of complexity to the already complex issue. People dealing with addiction had less contact with loved ones, addiction meetings were put on hold, places of worship shut down, and many rehab programs shifted to an online approach.

Overall, this resulted in the number of drug-related deaths drastically increasing. The American Medical Association (AMA) has called for a need to ensure appropriate access to treatment programs and pain management is supplied to get these numbers again on the decline.

Florida Rehab Statistics

Florida has a large number of addiction treatment programs to offer, housing over 700 alcohol and drug rehabilitation facilities. Many of these are located around large cities such as Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Orlando, though they can be found all across the state. Many people seek treatment for alcohol and drug abuse in Florida due to its serine surroundings, warm climate, and a large number of sober activities to do.

Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Statistics

In 2020, rehabilitation facilities in Florida opened their doors to over 45,000 clients, where around:

  • 15,000 people were admitted for opioid addiction
  • 10,000 people were admitted for alcohol abuse
  • 6,000 people were admitted for marijuana addiction
  • 2000 people were admitted for methamphetamine addiction
  • 1500 people were admitted for cocaine abuse

What are the Statistics for Relapse?

As substance use disorders are chronic illnesses, relapse is a part of the condition. It is important to remember just because someone has relapsed does not mean their treatment has been unsuccessful and is purely part of recovery.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that while in recovery, relapse rates stand at 40-60%. This is similar to other chronic conditions including hypertension and diabetes. It was also shown that after one year of completing treatment, 25% of people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction reduce their illicit substance intake significantly.

When considered in the short term, substance abuse statistics can seem off-putting and challenging. However, over the long term, the majority of people are able to kick their addiction. A study found that over 60% of people eventually overcome their condition. This equates to over 9% of the entire US population, showing defeating a substance use disorder is more than possible.

Contact Us

NP Addiction Clinic is a leading drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Port Saint Luce, Florida. We specialize in helping our clients overcome a range of substance use disorders and mental health conditions. Our experienced team balances evidence-backed clinical approaches with a non-judgemental, sympathetic approach. Our aim as a facility is to make your or your loved one’s time with us as productive and comfortable as possible.

Overcoming substance abuse in Florida usually starts with a medically assisted detox to ensure a safe and comfortable withdrawal from the drug. Our team works to reduce unnecessary suffering by providing prescription medication and around-the-clock care to ease potential withdrawal symptoms.

As addiction is a complex disease, we believe in approaching it in a holistic manner. At NP Addiction Clinic, we aim to rehabilitate your physical and mental health via a range of approaches. This includes psychotherapy techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Plus, we provide a sense of routine and a new healthy lifestyle via our bespoke day-to-day schedule. We believe addressing the root cause of addiction and healing from trauma that may be associated with it is needed for sobriety long-term.

Starting the journey towards quitting an addiction can seem overwhelming and confusing, though you are not alone. Contact NP Addiction Clinic today to find out more information about our treatment programs and how we can assist you toward a brighter future.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine