“It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” as the saying goes, which means happy hour starts now, and that means you get to kick back with an alcoholic beverage of your choice. The idea of winding down with a beer, cocktail, or wine fits seamlessly into American culture. It’s so American that hardly anyone thinks twice about people who prefer to drink alcohol with their dinner or on a special occasion. If people want to drink for no reason, many people don’t mind that either.
Alcohol is served and sold in so many places, and it’s socially accepted to indulge or even overindulge in it. These are just a few reasons why alcohol addiction gets past people, even the ones who are doing the drinking.
In Riviera Beach, a city just north of West Palm Beach, liquor stores, gas stations, and supermarkets can sell packaged alcoholic beverages between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m., Sunday through Saturday, according to LocalAlcoholLaws.com. The site also says bars and restaurants may serve it between 7 a.m. and 5 a.m. on any day of the week.
This not only makes alcohol accessible for most of the day but puts it within reach of people who are at risk of drinking irresponsibly and those who might not even know they have a substance use disorder. Not everyone who drinks will fall into a problematic pattern of drinking, but when it does happen, it is serious. It can lead to battling a life-threatening alcohol use disorder, or AUD, which requires recovery in a professional rehab to overcome.
Nearly 35,000 people call the Riviera Beach area home, according to Census figures. The city is located near the Atlantic Ocean and has a marina that serves as a dock and stopover for people going to the Bahamas, which is about 200 miles away. Area attractions include Rapids Water Park and boat rides from Palm Beach Inlet that allow visitors to explore natural and artificial reefs and fish for grouper, mackerel, and snapper.
In the past, drug smugglers have used the city’s marina to move cocaine and marijuana from the Bahamas to Riviera Beach, and the city’s crime rates are among the highest in the nation. The area also has significant poverty rates that are higher than that of Florida, as WelfareInfo.org reports. According to its data, “the poverty rate in Riviera Beach is 22.4%. One out of every 4.5 residents of Riviera Beach lives in poverty.” Florida’s poverty rate is 15.5%, it writes.
Communities with high poverty and crime rates usually face challenges with a population that is dealing with substance use and addiction. People who live in these areas also might not be aware that drug treatment services are available to them. There are treatment facilities located in West Palm Beach and surrounding cities in the county that can help Riviera Beach residents with substance use disorders.
Florida Alcohol Rehab Statistics
Palm Beach County’s law enforcement makes DUI arrests year-round, and efforts are underway to raise awareness about underage drinking. Alcohol is often abused by itself, but the substance is also used in lethal combinations of prescription and illegal drugs.
In a report published in 2019, the Florida Medical Examiners Commission found that alcohol turned up the most in deaths linked to drug use in 2018. According to its data, the frequency in occurrence was 18.5 percent. Many substance users pair two or more drugs together to increase the effects of each drug used.
However, some people combine alcohol with other drugs by mistake. For example, people who use an opioid and alcohol at the same time risk slowing down their heart rate and breathing rate, which can lead to permanent injury or death. Alcohol’s sedative effects often make it harder for a person under the influence to know when they have had too much to drink, which is another reason why mixing addictive substances should be avoided.
Some social drinkers may resort to binge drinking, which is when a person drinks too much alcohol over a short time. A 2018 national survey found that more than 26 percent of U.S. adults reported they had engaged in binge drinking in the past month during that year. Some people will be able to point to their binge drinking as the start of their addiction to alcohol.
Excessive drinking is hazardous to one’s physical safety, too. Injuries and deaths result from throwing back a few far too much. Data show that about 88,000 people in the United States die in motor accidents linked to excessive alcohol use, which is considered the third leading preventable cause of death. An intoxicated person’s decision to get behind the wheel can be a deadly one, and acts committed under the influence of alcohol can lead to life-threatening situations or events that compromise a person’s life.
People who drink too much might find themselves dealing with:
The inability to control your drinking could signal that you have developed alcohol use disorder (AUD). AUD, as defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), is “a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.”
It is important to address AUD as soon as possible. It can be treated at an accredited facility that specializes in treating alcohol abuse. Alcohol rehab can help people with AUD avoid relapse and deadly alcohol withdrawal when they decide to stop drinking.
Florida’s warm weather and sunshine that it is named for have attracted people from all around the world, and this includes those who want to recover from substance abuse in a tropical paradise. The region also has gained favor among clinicians and treatment professionals who have opened and operated rehab centers in the state over the years.
The Florida Model of Treatment, which involves a stepped treatment approach, is widely used to help people with substance use and mental health disorders. Riviera Beach is not located far from The Palm Beach Institute, which has welcomed many through its doors for substance addiction treatment since 1970.
Many people start rehab so that they can get to work on treating alcohol use disorder and give themselves the best chance to recover from it. Riviera Beach residents who need help with alcohol addiction may want to consider entering an accredited treatment facility that can help them put their lives back together.
Alcohol addiction is a complex disease that affects the brain that often requires evidence-based treatment to address it. Recovery programs that consider the whole person and their physical, emotional, and mental needs are effective. Diverse approaches are used to treat substance abuse, so you will meet with professionals who can help you put together a program that addresses your needs and preferences.
Depending on how far along your alcohol use disorder is, you may start with medical detox before moving on to a level of care that is right for you. Remember to ask any questions you have so that you will feel comfortable and confident when receiving the care you need.
Your guide to local alcohol laws across the United States. (n.d.). from http://localalcohollaws.com/index/1260975/fl/riviera_beach
U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Riviera Beach city, Florida. (n.d.). from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/rivierabeachcityflorida/RHI525218
Krause, K., & Burstein, J. (2018, September 28). 7 ARRESTED IN DRUG SMUGGLING VIA BOAT. from https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-2002-03-14-0203140203-story.html
Riviera Beach, FL Crime Rates. (n.d.). from https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/fl/riviera-beach/crime
“Understanding the Relationship Between Poverty and Alcohol Misuse.” Jones, Lisa & Sumnall, Harry. (2016). PDF. from https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/25676/1/Understanding-the-relationship-between-poverty-and-alcohol-abuse-2.pdf
“How to Spot Teen Drug Abuse.” How to Spot Teen Drug Abuse | Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition | Underage Drinking | Prescription Drugs | Drug Abuse | South Florida from https://www.pbcsac.org/Spot-Teen-Drug-Abuse.html
Medical examiners Commission. (2019, November). Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Medical Examiners. from https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MEC/Publications-and-Forms/Documents/Drugs-in-Deceased-Persons/2018-Interim-Drug-Report-FINAL.aspx
CDC. (2018, May 10). Alcohol and Public Health. from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, July 8). Alcohol and Cancer | CDC. from https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/alcohol/index.htm
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2017, September 15). What are the ASAM Levels of Care? from https://www.asamcontinuum.org/knowledgebase/what-are-the-asam-levels-of-care/