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Section 7: All Ages Indicators

Overview of Alcohol and Drug Related Issues in Pinellas County for All Ages

The use of illicit drugs among Americans increased between 2008 and 2010, according to a national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that 22.6 million Americans age 12 or older (8.9 percent of the population) were current illicit drug users. The rate of use in 2010 was similar to the rate in 2009 (8.7 percent), but remained above the 2008 rate (8 percent).

Nationwide in 2009, 51.9% of persons ages 12 or older reported using alcohol in the past month, 23.7% reported binge drinking in the past month and 6.8% reported heavy drinking in the past month. Nationally in 2009, 23.3% of persons 12 years of age or older reporting smoking cigarettes in the past month and 8.7% reported using illicit drugs.

During 2010, the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) indicated 50,952 arrests occurred in Pinellas County.  Among those, 44,815 (88%) were adults and 6,137 (12%) were juveniles. There were 2,598 DUI arrests in Pinellas County and 8,525 drug/narcotic arrests. Roughly in 2010 Pinellas County, there were 7 DUI arrests a day and 1 drug or narcotic arrest every hour.

In 2010 there were 1,198 motor vehicle alcohol-related crashes, 699 motor vehicle alcohol-related injuries and 42 motor vehicles alcohol-related fatalities in Pinellas County.

In 2012, 1,077 tracked drugs were identified by the Medical Examiner in toxicology Reports for District 6, which consists of Pinellas and Pasco Counties (multiple drugs may be present in one case). Alcohol and Cocaine showed slight decreases, whereas Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Alprazolam showed increases.

In Pinellas County, there were 201 deaths in 2012 where a tracked prescription drug was detected, which is roughly 17 deaths a month in Pinellas County involving prescription drugs.

In 2010, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has 371 arrests/charges for “doctor shopping” – a term used to describe a doctor’s office, clinic or pharmacy prescribing or dispensing powerful narcotics inappropriately or for non-medical reasons.

In 2008, there were 2,831 individuals admitted to Pinellas County Emergency Rooms for alcohol-related incidents, which is roughly 8 people per day. In 2008 in Pinellas County, there were 296 opioid-related admissions and 140 cocaine-related admissions to Pinellas County Emergency Rooms.

In 2008, there were 189 tranquilizer-related overdoses and 144 opioid-related overdoses at Pinellas County Emergency Rooms. In 2010, there were 153 newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome due to addicted mothers at the time of birth.

According to the Treatment Episode Data Set Report, the proportion of all substance abuse treatment admissions for ages 12 or older that reported any pain reliever abuse increased more than fourfold between 1998 and 2008 (from 2.2 to 9.8%). Increases in percentages of admissions reporting pain reliever abuse cut across age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, employment, and region. Among admissions for which medication-assisted opioid therapy was planned, reports of pain reliever abuse more than tripled, from 6.8% in 1998 to 26.5% percent in 2008.

Sperling’s Best Places reviewed the 50 largest metropolitan areas (which includes suburbs) and designated Tampa Bay as the most stressful area. The team considered the following factors: divorce rate, commute times, unemployment, violent crime, property crime, suicides, alcohol consumption, mental health, sleep troubles, and the annual amount of cloudy days. The standout factor was that Tampa was ranked at the 97th percentile for suicides.

Factors of Tampa- St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Commute time - minutes:28.3
Violent crime per 100,000 population:500
Property crime per 100,000 population:3,387.2
Suicides per 100,000 population:15.5
Cloudy days annually:127


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