Boynton Beach is a Floridian city situated along the Atlantic Ocean between Delray Beach and Palm Beach. Although it is not as revered as a tourist destination as many other communities in the Sunshine State, it does offer several attractions that bring people to Florida, particularly its beaches. However, unfortunately, it is also a community that suffers from high drug abuse rates.
Statistics – 2016
One of the worst evenings in this city of 70,000 occurred in 2016, when five people overdosed in a 12-hour nighttime span, related to calls at 5:19, 9:44, 10:31, and 11:01 p.m. and 2 a.m. The ones who were the focus of the 10:31 p.m. and 2 a.m. calls died as a result.
The associating article, published on October 11 of that year, also pointed out that 250 drug overdoses occurred in Boynton Beach between January 1 and then. In addition, 220 drug overdoses occurred from January to August in Lake Worth, while 394 were recorded from January to September in Delray Beach.
Also that year, Boynton Beach’s police chief invited The Palm Beach Post to send a reporter along on evenings with officers as they addressed situations involving drug overdoses, and the stories that were told as a result of those experiences resonated.
As of that article’s publication, which was in June of that year, 151 people had overdosed on drugs to that point in 2016. Nine of those did not survive their overdosing experience. Also discussed in that piece was how those working scenes such as these had experienced 10 of them in seven days in June 2016.
Statistics – 2022
Unfortunately, the drug use-related statistics in the area have not improved in the years since. For example, in Palm Beach County, where Boynton Beach is located, 54 people died due to a drug overdose between Jan. 1 and Feb. 18, a figure 23% higher than the one for the corresponding period in the previous year.
However, it should be pointed out that 50 fewer people died from a drug overdose in 2021 as compared to 2020, according to the county’s medical examiner’s office.
Over the past decade, the situation in Palm Beach County has worsened significantly.
According to the county, the death rate related to heroin use had been on par with Florida as a whole and lower than the average for the United States in 2014, but that quickly increased over the years.
Meanwhile, the death rate in Palm Beach County related to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids was similar to Florida’s and the U.S.’ in 2013 and 2014 before it skyrocketed past those latter two figures, approximately doubling them before long.
However, opioid prescriptions in Palm Beach County were lower in Palm Beach County than in Florida and the U.S. from 2011 to 2017, so the overprescription of opioids that had been occurring in much of the country up to around that time did not affect Palm Beach County as much as it had affected other areas. With that said, the illegal supply of opioids has remained high here.
It should also be noted that about 5% of people who misuse opioids that they had been prescribed ultimately use heroin, while 80% of those who have become heroin users did so after misusing prescribed opioids.
Of course, people become addicted to drugs for numerous reasons, but overdoses often have two causes.
One is a user relapsing after getting clean and using the same amount they had before, which their body is no longer used to and can no longer handle. The other is that heroin users are often provided with a substance that includes or is solely comprised of fentanyl, which is several times more potent; many people consider it 100 times more potent than heroin.
In addition, in 2018 in Palm Beach County, fentanyl use resulted in more deaths than use of any other drug. The 278 people who had died from its use were the most of any county in the state that year. In total, 2,348 people statewide died due to its use in 2018.
However, the use of fentanyl test strips is being pushed by some to help users learn if there is any substance in what they are about to use so that they can go into the process with full knowledge of what is being put into their bodies.
With that said, keep in mind that the use of fentanyl test strips is illegal in Florida despite many saying that this only harms the battle to decrease drug use and abuse across the state.
Narcan, also known as naloxone, used to treat opioid overdoses during emergency situations, is also being utilized by many paramedics in Boynton Beach. For example, during a May 2017 weekend, paramedics used about $800 worth of it in that community. That meant about four-fifths of an average month’s worth of it was used in a single weekend. That was partially the result of more than half of the monthly average of overdoses occurring just in that three-day span.
At that time, fire rescue crews were commonly disseminating Narcan, but it was much less common for the same to be said for police forces. Nearby, Delray Beach became the initial one of the 25 in the Boynton Beach area to have officers trained in disseminating it, just a year prior. Boynton Beach became the second one shortly after that.
Unfortunately, drug use often leads to increased crime rates as users are determined to use more, even if committing a crime is necessary for that to occur. Those who supply them the drugs are determined to remove any competition to do so unencumbered.
On a scale from A to F, CrimeGrade.org has issued Boynton Beach a D in drug-related crime, making it a less safe community from these types of crimes than the average place is, both statewide and nationwide.
This results from the city’s rate of 5.5 drug-related crime instances per 1,000 residents yearly. The odds of being involved in this type of situation range from 1 in 83 in southern areas to 1 in 514 in the central areas. Also, the city’s southwest region experiences 255 of these crimes annually, while the community’s central district is the location of 20 drug-related crimes in an average year.
Unfortunately, nearby areas also struggle with drug-related crime. Of those communities, this website awarded its best rating of C+ to Briny Breezes and its lowest F to Golf and Gulf Stream.
As for places throughout the country with similar populations as Boynton Beach, the highest rating of A- was issued to Cumming, Ga., while the lowest of D- went to Killeen, Texas, and Orange, Calif.
Call us today if you or a loved one is suffering from drug use and would like assistance in getting your or their life back on track. We offer residential treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs, which help people overcome these struggles, recreate their lives, and have more positive experiences in the future.