Decrease in the number of people killed by cocaine in Miami

15 September 2011

The number of deaths from cocaine use has been a marked decline in recent years in Miami, from the peak reached in 2007, according to a study released today by the Nova Southeastern University.

This work shows how in this city of Florida, who in the eighties became famous among other things, the high rate of cocaine use, there was a decrease of 47% in the number of deaths caused by this substance during the last year.

“Cocaine was detected in a lethal level in 34% of cases in the first half of 2010, while this substance was found in combination with other drugs in 76% of cases,” says the study.

None of the 41 deaths in Miami-Dade County in the first half of 2010-the most recent period analyzed in detail in the report, was less than 18 years.

In total, 19% of deaths from cocaine use were between 18 and 25 years, 15% between 26 and 34, by 32% between 35 and 50, and 34% over 50 years.

In the entire state of Florida the number of deaths from cocaine use showed a decline of 16% in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009 and, according to the report, this downward trend is also observed since 2007 .

According to the study led by James H. Hall, director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Substance Abuse of the university, in 2009 there were 1462 deaths linked to cocaine use in Florida, compared with 1791, 2008 and 2179, 2007, the highest since the end of the eighties.

Thus, the number of cocaine-related deaths increased by 97% between 2001 and 2007, due in part to a “key factor”: the combination of it with other substances, “particularly with prescription drugs.”

In the first half of 2010, at 81% of deaths related to cocaine use in Florida also found at least the presence of another drug or medication.

Despite significant declines, “the consequences for cocaine continue to be higher in South Florida than in most of the country,” says the report, stressing that leads Miami since 2007, “a decrease problems “to this drug.

As deaths from heroin, they have declined also in Florida and “levels remain low and stable” in the last two years.

Thus, heroin killed 30 people in the first half of 2010, representing a decrease of 40% over the same period in 2009.

However, heroin remains the drug most lethal, with 83% of total deaths caused by substance abuse in 2010 in Florida.

“More than half of cases of heroin deaths in recent years due to the combination of this drug with one or more opiates”, including oxycodone, “remains the most prescribed linked to non-medical.”

For methamphetamine, Florida Police dismantled 445 clandestine laboratories in 2010, although consumption is low, the report said.

The presence of this substance was detected in 49 deaths during the first half of 2010 compared to 39 a year earlier. Throughout 2009 there were 81 deaths attributed to this substance and 114 in 2008.

Marijuana remains the most consumed substance prohibited, especially among young people, although it remained at stable levels.