Table of Contents
I. Getting Help
Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Jacksonville, FL

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Getting Help

What to Consider When Choosing a Rehab Center

When contemplating your choice of rehab programs and treatment options, ask the following questions to clarify your search:

The severity of your addiction, your financial position, and your unique personal situation will all influence which rehab options are best for you.

Our guide to Choosing the Right Rehab can provide you with more information on making all of these choices.

The Highest Rated, Low-Cost Rehabs in Jacksonville

Depending on your needs and location, the cost of rehab can be high. A variety of options are available for finding help to break free of your addiction, regardless of the kind of insurance you have. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), there are 29 substance abuse treatment centers within 25 miles of Jacksonville. Many of these organizations seek to provide substance abuse recovery services to residents, regardless of their financial status. Out of these 29 rehabs, Clay Behavioral Health Center has received the highest overall scores based on our five core metrics.

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To determine the quality of each rehabilitation facility, we used these five core metrics. To better understand these metrics, feel free to read a full breakdown of our filtering process and ranking methodology.

1. Clay Behavioral Health Center

Clay Behavioral Health Center scored 5.4 points out of 10 possible points in our rankings for its excellent outpatient substance abuse treatment services. This center offers substance abuse services for both adults and children, and it is especially skilled at assisting those patients with co-occurring mental illness since it also offers a dual-diagnosis program. Additionally, special programs for veterans, persons referred from the court system, pregnant and postpartum women, persons who have experienced trauma, and more unique populations are available. 

Clay Behavioral Health Center does not use medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse, but it does prescribe medication to treat other psychiatric conditions. Treatment approaches at this center are numerous and include cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-related counseling, rational emotive behavioral therapy, 12-step facilitation, brief intervention, and the Matrix Model approach to substance abuse treatment, to name a few. Ancillary services, which help patients with issues not directly related to substance abuse, include many forms of health education and screening, social skills development, assistance with obtaining social services, treatment for non-substance abuse addiction disorders, family and marital counseling, and much more. 

Clay Behavioral Health Center accepts Medicaid and other state-financed insurance, private insurance, military insurance such as TRICARE, and many other forms of applicable state or federal funding. Patients who must pay for their own treatment can take advantage of a sliding scale payment program based on income and other factors to make treatment more affordable. 

  • Rehabilitation Services Provided: 2.31
  • Treatment Approaches: 9.1
  • Cost: 5.5
  • Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 6.03
  • Ancillary Services: 4.29

2. Stepping Stone Center for Recovery

Stepping Stone Center for Recovery scored 5.2 out of 10 points for its inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment services for adult men and women. The medication-assisted detoxification that Stepping Stone offers for opioid and alcohol dependence helps to lead patients toward the stability of a drug-free lifestyle, while ten treatment approaches, including anger management, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical therapy, and more, capitalize on the detox program to assist patients in reaching long-term freedom from substance abuse. Before releasing patients from its care, Stepping Stone always formulates a detailed aftercare plan so patients and their family members can clearly understand and implement the necessary steps following discharge from the center. 

The center offers a host of ancillary services designed to aid patients with many aspects of their physical and mental health. Examples of these services include peer-support groups; health education and screening for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, TB, and STDs; drug testing; social skills development; and more. 

Stepping Stone accepts self-payment and private insurance, and a sliding fee scale based on income and financial need is available to ease the cost of care since government funded-aid and insurance is not accepted. 

  • Rehabilitation Services Provided: 7.7
  • Treatment Approaches: 7.28
  • Cost: 1.11
  • Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 0.67
  • Ancillary Services: 7.59

3. Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. Bradford County Clinic

The Bradford County Clinic location of Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. scored 5 out of 10 points for its adult outpatient substance abuse treatment services. Many patients move to treatment at this clinic after first completing medication-assisted detoxification treatment at one of the inpatient or partial-hospitalization clinics operated by Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. in the Jacksonville area. Bradford County Clinic employs a wide variety of treatment approaches, such as trauma-related counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, motivational interviewing, and more to assist patients in overcoming their substance addictions.

The clinic also provides special programs for those patients referred from the court system and for persons suffering from co-occurring mental illness. Moreover, it excels at a host of ancillary services that support patients with situations outside of their substance abuse, such as assistance for those who have experienced domestic abuse, health screenings and education, tobacco cessation services, assistance with obtaining social services, and much more. 

Patients at the Bradford County Clinic can pay for care in a variety of ways, including Medicaid, Medicare, other state-financed insurance, private insurance, TRICARE, and other forms of local or federal government funding. Patients who need to pay for care out of pocket benefit from a sliding scale fee structure that takes into account income level and other financial concerns. 

  • Rehabilitation Services Provided: 2.31
  • Treatment Approaches: 8.19
  • Cost: 6.66
  • Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 2.01
  • Ancillary Services: 5.94
Top-Rated, Low-Cost Treatment Centers in Jacksonville
RankRehabTotal ScoreContact Information
#1Clay Behavioral Health Center5.43292 County Road 220 Middleburg, FL 32068 Main Tel: 904-291-5561
#2Stepping Stone Center for Recovery5.21815 Corporate Square Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32216 Main Tel: 904-530-5559
#3Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. Bradford County Clinic5.0945 Grand Street Starke, FL 32091 Intake Tel 1: 352-374-5600 Intake Tel 2: 800-330-5615 
#4EPIC Behavioral Healthcare Recovery Center4.93574 US 1 South St. Augustine FL 32086 Main Tel: 904-417-7100

Finding a Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Jacksonville

Start by determining your coverage

When searching for a rehabilitation center that suits you, it is crucial to understand your health coverage. Whether you carry insurance privately or through the state marketplace, you can reach out to your provider to determine which rehabilitation centers in your area are covered. To find out if you are eligible for low-income Medicaid services, visit Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. Regardless of the kind of coverage you have, public and private insurance companies must cover substance abuse treatment for qualified individuals.

Use our database to find a treatment center near you

The tool below lists all of the treatment centers in the state of Florida that are recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). By inputting your zip code and selecting the filter icon, you can find relevant treatment centers near you.

Schedule an assessment

The first step in seeking substance abuse treatment covered by insurance is scheduling an assessment by a qualified individual. A therapist or counselor at most facilities can provide assessments, or your primary care provider may be able to refer you. To find out where your needs can be professionally assessed, you can contact the companies in our database.

filter button

Type Of Care
Treatment Apporaches
Service Setting
Age Groups Accepted
Ancillary Services
Facility Operation
Facility Smoking Policy
Gender Accepted
Language Services
License Certification Accreditation
Payment Assistance Available
Payment Methods and Insurance Accepted
Special Programs Groups Offered

    What to Expect in Rehab

    Addiction treatment is a changing and growing industry that draws on numerous techniques and philosophies to treat patients. The science of studying addiction is constantly improving as theories are clinically tested and refined. However, the four core elements of rehabilitation remain very similar.

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    To better understand what to expect in rehab, read our guide on the addiction rehabilitation process.

    II. Finding Aftercare in Jacksonville

    Proper aftercare is crucial for continuing the lifelong process of rehabilitation. The chances of a relapse increase if a patient does not receive aftercare following release from a rehabilitation facility. There are many different formats of aftercare that work for a variety of schedules and lifestyles. Options include follow-up visits for continued therapy, sober living homes, and group therapy. Research shows that long-term participation in aftercare activities dramatically improves the outcome of rehabilitation efforts.

    The 12-step process for recovering from alcohol addiction is one of the most popular formats for aftercare. This process was created by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a nationwide addiction support group. NA, or Narcotics Anonymous, offers the same steps for those struggling with drug addiction. Many smaller non-profit groups also model their aftercare programs on AA’s original 12-step plan.

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    Contact the appropriate local organization to find an AA or NA meeting near you

    Our directory tool below can connect you with local organizations that will help you find a nearby Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) group meeting. Calling ahead of attending your first meeting to verify the details is always a good idea since meeting times and locations change periodically.

    Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Database

    NameCityProgramTelephoneSpanish Hotline
    Bay Area NABay Area (Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas County)NA(888) 779-7117N/A
    Beach & Bay Area NABeach & Bay Area (Miami Beach)NA(800) 918-2330N/A
    Big Bend Area NABig Bend Area (Tallahassee)NA(877) 340-5096;(850) 224-2321N/A
    Brevard IntergroupMelbourneAA(321) 724-2247N/A
    Broward County A.A. IntergroupOakland ParkAA(954) 462-0265;(954) 462-7202N/A
    Central Florida Intergroup Service (Orlando Area)CasselberryAA(407) 260-5822;(407) 260-5408N/A
    Central Miami IntergroupMiamiAA(305) 504-7211N/A
    Central Office Of Sara-Mana Inc.SarasotaAA(941) 951-6810;(941) 351-4818N/A
    Central Office Of West PascoNew Port RicheyAA(727) 847-0777N/A
    Conch Republic Area NAConch Republic AreaNA(866) 584-2411N/A
    Conch Republic Area NAConch Republic Area (Lower Keys)NA(305) 394-5962N/A
    Conch Republic Area NAConch Republic Area (Upper Keys)NA(305) 664-2270N/A
    Daytona Beach Area NADaytona Beach AreaNA(844) 344-3155N/A
    Dist. 16 HelplineLake CityAA(386) 758-4283N/A
    District 15 IntergroupPanama CityAA(850) 784-7431N/A
    District 27 Answering Service for Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie CountiesLevy,Gilchrist, Dixie CountiesAA(352) 949-2239N/A
    East Central Florida Area NAEast Central Florida AreaNA(844) 623-5674 x713N/A
    Emerald Coast Area NAEmerald Coast Area (Panama City and surrounding areas)NA(866) 985-0008N/A
    First Coast Area NAFirst Coast Area (Jacksonville)NA(904) 723-5683N/A
    Flagler County IntergroupPalm CoastAA(386) 445-4357N/A
    Forest Area NAForest Area (Ocala, Marion County, Lake County, Sumter County)NA(352) 368-6061N/A
    Gold Coast Area NAGold Coast Area (Ft Lauderdale)NA(888) 524-1777N/A
    Greater Orlando Area NAGreater Orlando Area (Orange, Osceola & Seminole counties)NA(407) 425-5157N/A
    Greater Pensacola Area NAGreater Pensacola Area (Pensacola, Ft Walton Beach)NA(850) 496-1673N/A
    Gulf Coast Area NAGulf Coast Area (Port Charlotte, Ft Myers, Cape Coral, Lww & Charlotte Counties)NA(866) 389-1344N/A
    Heartland Area NAHeartland Area (Lakeland, Polk County)NA(863) 683-0630N/A
    Heartland Intergroup A.A. IncLakelandAA(863) 688-0211;(863) 687-9275N/A
    Hernando County IntergroupSpring HillAA(352) 683-4597N/A
    Indian River Central OfficeVero BeachAA(772) 562-1114N/A
    Intergroup 17OcalaAA(352) 867-0660N/A
    Intergroup 5 Inc.TallahasseeAA(850) 224-1818N/A
    Intergroup Comm Of District 14Ft. Walton BeachAA(850) 244-2421N/A
    Intergroup Of Martin CountyStuartAA(772) 283-9337N/A
    Intergroup Service Comm Of The 5th Dist Inc.North PortAA(941) 426-7655;(941) 426-7723N/A
    Intergroupe Francais En Floride (French)HollywoodAAN/AN/A
    Intergrupos de Area NotreFt. PierceAAN/A(772) 446-5555;(561) 262-3176
    Key West IntergroupKey WestAA(305) 296-8654N/A
    Lake Sumter Central OfficeLeesburgAA(352) 360-0960N/A
    Lee County Area IntergroupFt. MyersAA(239) 275-5111N/A
    Miami-Dade IntergroupMiamiAA(305) 461-2425N/A
    Midcoast Area NAMidcoast Area (Delray Bch, Boca Raton, Boynton Bch, Deerfield Bch)NA(561) 393-0303N/A
    Naples Area IntergroupNaplesAA(239) 262-6535N/A
    Nature Coast Area NANature Coast Area (Inverness, Dunnellon, Crystal River, Lecanto)NA(352) 393-0303N/A
    Nature Coast IntergroupCrystal RiverAA(352) 621-0599N/A
    North Central Florida IntergroupGainesvilleAA(352) 372-8091N/A
    North Dade Area NANorth Dade Area (North Miami Beach & surrounding)NA(866) 935-8811N/A
    Northeast Florida IntergroupJacksonvilleAA(904) 399-8535N/A
    Oficina Intergrupal de OrlandoOrlandoAAN/A(407) 240-1181
    Oficina Intergrupal De Tampa-BayTampaAAN/A(813) 842-8444
    Oficina Intergrupal Hispana de A.A. BrowardSunriseAAN/A(954) 832-6780
    Oficina Intergrupal Hispana Del SurMiamiAAN/A(305) 642-2805
    Oficina Intergrupal Sur De Florida AAWest Palm BeachAAN/A(561) 929-1759
    Osceola County IntergroupKissimmeeAA(407) 870-8282(407) 240-1181
    Palm Beach County Intergroup AssociationWest Palm BeachAA(561) 655-5700N/A
    Palm Coast Area NAPalm Coast Area (West Palm Beach)NA(561) 848-6262N/A
    Peace River Area NAPeace River Area (Port Charlotte)NA(800) 381-7371N/A
    Pinellas Co. Intergroup Inc.St. PetersburgAA(727) 530-0415N/A
    Recovery Coast Area NARecovery Coast Area (New Port Richey)NA(727) 842-2433N/A
    River Coast Area NARiver Coast Area (Hernando County)NA(352) 754-7200N/A
    Serenity Coast Area NASerenity Coast Area (Jacksonville, St Augustine, Orange Park, Neptune)NA(904) 358-6262N/A
    Shark Coast Area NAShark Coast Area (Venice, Nokomis, North Port, Englewood)NA(941) 493-5747N/A
    So. Palm Beach County Intergroup Inc.Delray BeachAA(561) 276-4581N/A
    South Atlantic Area NASouth Atlantic AreaNA(866) 288-6262N/A
    South Broward Area NASouth Broward Area (Hollywood)NA(954) 967-6755N/A
    South Dade Area NASouth Dade AreaNA(305) 265-9555N/A
    Space Coast Area NASpace Coast Area (Brevard County, Melbourne)NA(321) 631-4357N/A
    St. Lucie County Intergroup AssociationPort St. LucieAA(772) 873-9299N/A
    Suncoast Area NASuncoast Area (Sarasota, Bradenton)NA(941) 257-5055N/A
    Sunset Coast Area NASunset Coast Area (Naples, Bonita Springs)NA(888) 435-7301N/A
    Tampa Funcoast Area NATampa Funcoast AreaNA(813) 879-4357N/A
    Treasure Coast Area NATreasure Coast Area (Ft Pierce, Port St Lucie, Stuart, Okeechobee, Vero Bch)NA(772) 905-4409N/A
    Tri-County Central Office, IncTampaAA(813) 933-9123;(813) 933-9722N/A
    Tri-District Intergroup,Inc.PensacolaAA(850) 433-4191N/A
    Uncoast Area NAUncoast Area (Gainesville)NA(866) 352-5323;(352) 376-8008N/A
    Unity Springs Area NAUnity Springs AreaNA(888) 385-3121N/A
    Upper Keys FL IntergroupKey LargoAA(305) 852-6186N/A
    Volusia County IntergroupSouth DaytonaAA(386) 756-2930N/A
    Wiregrass Area NAWiregrass Area (Bonifay, Mariana)NA(866) 985-0008N/A

    Sober Living Homes

    Recovering addicts often stay for a period of time in sober living homes, which are also called recovery residences or halfway houses. The goal of these residential facilities is to encourage independence and continued sobriety. The positive environment reinforces what patients already learned in rehabilitation, and the zero-tolerance, drug-free policy protects everyone living in the home. Residents of sober living homes receive guidance in learning social, relational, and employment skills. This focus on skill development helps residents strive to build a new life for themselves beyond addiction. Research shows that integrating into such an environment helps patients break the cycle of addiction. 

    Personal responsibility is a key skill taught in sober living homes. Residents learn personal responsibility by paying reasonable rent fees and by caring for their personal living space as if it were their own. Attending support groups in these homes is also required. As long as residents follow all house rules and stay drug- and alcohol-free, they are usually allowed to remain in the home anywhere from a few months to several years. 

    You can find sober living homes in Jacksonville by checking our database, or you can select the appropriate filter from our tool above. Our guide on sober living homes also provides more information on what to expect in these homes and where to find them in your area.

    III. Substance Abuse in Jacksonville

    Excessive drinking is a major problem in Duval County, especially for women

    19.4%

    of Duval County adults engaged in excessive drinking, 2016

    17.5%

    of Florida adults engaged in excessive drinking, 2016

    Many adults who do not have what is termed a “severe” alcohol use disorder still abuse alcohol through binge and heavy drinking, which together is coined “excessive drinking.” Binge drinking, defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men within two hours, poses short-term safety risks and increases long-term risks for cancers and chronic conditions, such as heart and liver disease. Heavy drinking, which is eight or more drinks per week for women and fifteen or more drinks per week for men, poses similar long-term health risks as binge drinking. Duval County has disproportionately high rates of binge and heavy drinking compared to the state of Florida. In 2016, 19.4% of adults in Duval County engaged in excessive drinking but only 17.5% of adults in Florida engaged in the same behavior.

    A closer look at Duval County statistics collected in 2013 and 2016 reveals recent changes in how men and women abuse alcohol in the area. The percentage of excessive drinking in men dropped a modest but encouraging 0.5% between 2013 and 2016; however, during the same time period, the percentage of excessive drinking in women increased by a concerning 6.6%. This increase in excessive drinking among women caused the county’s overall percentage of excessive drinking among all adults to rise by 3% during that time period. However, a higher percentage of men than women still participate in excessive drinking in Duval County, as well as in the entire Jacksonville area.

    Duval County was not the only county in the Jacksonville area that experienced an increase in the percentage of excessive drinking within the female population between 2013 and 2016: rates also rose in Nassau County, St. Johns County, and Clay County. While Nassau County’s rate of excessive drinking among women only increased by 0.1%, increases in other neighboring counties were more dramatic. However, Baker County went against the trend with a percentage decrease of 3.1%. Meanwhile, the percentage of excessive drinking among the male population dropped significantly in Baker County, St. Johns County, and Nassau County and modestly in Duval County. Only Clay County witnessed a rise in the percentage of excessive drinking among men.

    Excessive Drinking Rates among Jacksonville Area Adult Men and Women, 2013 & 2016
    Baker CountyClay CountyDuval CountyNassau CountySt. Johns County
    2013 Women10.9%12.6%9.3%11.9%17.1%
    2016 Women7.8%16.5%15.9%12.0%18.8%
    Percentage Increase / Decrease-3.1%+3.9%+6.6%+0.1%+1.7%
    2013 Men30.3%17.8%24.2%30.8%30.2%
    2016 Men18.4%27.8%23.7%12.5%21.6%
    Percentage Increase / Decrease-11.9%+10%-0.5%-18.3%-8.6%

    Overdose deaths caused by cocaine skyrocketed 190.62% in one year in Jacksonville

    64%

    Jacksonville-area deaths directly caused by cocaine, 2015

    186%

    Jacksonville-area deaths directly caused by cocaine, 2016

    The role of cocaine in a growing number of overdose deaths in the Jacksonville area is very alarming. Combined data from Duval County, Clay County, and Nassau County reveals that cocaine was present in 266 overdose deaths in 2016, compared to 146 in 2015. The counties’ medical examiners determined that cocaine was the primary cause of 186 of those 266 overdose deaths. Conversely, the number of deaths directly caused by cocaine in the Jacksonville area in 2015, while still significant, was much lower at 64 deaths. This data illustrates a shocking 190.62% increase in the number of deaths directly attributable to cocaine from 2015 to 2016.

    Polydrug use, which is the use of more than one drug at the same time, is very common in the Jacksonville area among cocaine users. Consequently, cocaine is rarely the only drug present in the body at the time of an overdose death. In the Jacksonville area in 2016, only 20 out of 266 cocaine-related deaths featured cocaine alone, and, in Florida as a whole, that number was 383 out of 2,882 cocaine-related deaths. Nevertheless, cocaine is so deadly that in 2016, on the state level, medical examiners determined that cocaine was responsible for 61% of overdose deaths in which the drug was present, and, in the Jacksonville area, medical examiners determined it was responsible for an even higher 69.92% of overdose deaths.

    The percentage of overdose deaths in Duval County mimics the national average

    13.45%

    of Duval County deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol

    12.71%

    of U.S. deaths caused by drugs and alcohol

    Based on CDC data from 2008 to 2017, the percentage of drug and alcohol-induced deaths in Duval County is quite close to the national average, reported at just .74% higher than the national percentage of 12.71%. The prevalence of drug and alcohol-induced deaths in the Jacksonville area drives home the irreversible loss of life that society is experiencing due to substance abuse, and even legal substance use accounts for a large number of deaths. In Duval County, 19.12 out of every 1,000 deaths are alcohol-induced and 115.38 out of 1,000 deaths are drug-induced.

    Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Duval County Between 2008 and 2017
    0-1718+All Ages
    Drug-Induced Deaths in Duval County1210,09110,103
    Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Duval County31,6711,674
    Total Deaths in Duval County157885,98287,560
    Percentage of Drug & Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Duval County0.95%13.68%13.45%

    Key Indicators of Substance Abuse

    Collecting data on exactly how communities are affected by substance use disorders can be complicated because people are reluctant to be honest about addiction for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, we can consider several data points to understand the larger impact of substance abuse in Jacksonville. We located statistics from sectors such as homeless surveys, mental illness hospitalization records, and suicide rates across the area that give a broader view of the substance abuse issues that impact Jacksonville.

    Mental illness hospitalizations are more prevalent in Duval County than in Florida

    Substance abuse and mental illness have a strong correlation. Substance abuse itself is considered a mental illness, and those with substance use disorders are more likely than the general population to suffer from an additional mental illness, which is called a co-occurring mental illness or a dual diagnosis. Nationally in 2014, 20% of the overall population of the United States suffered from a mental illness, but nearly double that figure – 39.1% – of those with a substance use disorder were afflicted with a co-occurring mental illness.

    1,060.6

    mental illness hospitalizations per 100,000 residents in Duval County

    975.4

    mental illness hospitalizations per 100,000 residents in Florida

    Given this known connection between substance abuse and mental illness, the overall number of hospitalizations for all types of mental illness in Duval County in 2017 is concerning because it exceeds the state prevalence by 85.2 per 100,000 people. In Duval County,1,060.6 per 100,000 residents were hospitalized for mental illness in 2017, compared to 975.4 per 100,000 residents statewide. Moreover, in Duval County, 18.48% of mental illness hospitalizations were directly related to substance abuse, while that percentage was only 16.69% in Florida.

    It’s crucial for persons with substance use disorders to have access to mental health care. Although Duval County’s rate of mental illness hospitalizations is higher than the state average, hospitals within the county are slightly better equipped to handle the number of patients they receive than other hospitals in Florida. For example, in 2017, Duval County hospitals contained 9.8 more beds available for substance abuse and psychiatric patients per 100,000 people compared to the state average. Moreover, during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Duval County had 4.5 more licensed mental health counselors per 100,000 residents than the state average for that category of mental health assistance. While the available number of hospital beds and counseling professionals in the county may not fully address the substance abuse treatment needs of Duval County’s population, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

    Suicides account for 18 of every 1,000 deaths in Jacksonville

    18.12

    suicides per 1,000 deaths in Duval County, 2017

    15.67

    suicides per 1,000 deaths in Florida, 2017

    Suicide is the worst outcome of a mental illness that a person can experience, and it has a devastating effect on surviving loved ones and society as a whole as well. According to 2017 U.S. death records, suicide ranks as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States; however, in both Duval County and Florida, it ranks as the 8th leading cause of death. Yet, although suicide ranks 8th at both the county and state levels, the suicide rate in Duval County is significantly higher than in Florida. In Florida, the number of suicides per 1,000 deaths is 15.67, but, in Duval County, the number of suicides per 1,000 deaths rises to 18.12. The higher rate of suicides in Duval County echoes the fact that 2.5% more Duval County residents are diagnosed with a depressive disorder than the state average.

    Persons who have a substance abuse disorder are at heightened risk of taking their own lives, which the 2017 Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council of Florida recognized by implementing new objectives that emphasize establishing “linkages between providers of mental health and substance abuse services” in all Florida counties. These new objectives aim to reduce the suicide rate, in part, by preemptively addressing the mental health needs of those persons with substance abuse disorders. Such efforts at improving the methods by which state mental health professionals address substance abuse, mental health and suicide are timely for the Jacksonville area, considering the elevated suicide rates.

    Homelessness rates in Jacksonville have decreased

    In May of 2019, the nonprofit organization called Changing Homelessness coordinated with the federal government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development to execute a point-in-time count of the homeless population in Duval County, Clay County, and Nassau County. The survey results were encouraging: overall, the combined data of these three counties reveals that, between 2009 and 2019, homelessness decreased by 36.27%. 

    Although overall homelessness rates are lower in Jacksonville area counties, Duval County does have a higher prevalence of unsheltered homeless persons than neighboring Clay County and Nassau County. In Duval County, there are 5.15 unsheltered homeless persons per 10,000 residents, compared to just 0.33 per 10,000 residents in Clay County and 2.18 per 10,000 residents in Nassau County. Unsheltered homeless persons are at the greatest risk of injury and poor health due to weather exposure and unhygienic conditions.

    We know from multiple studies that, in general, one-third of homeless individuals have a substance abuse problem. In some of the 2019 point-in-time survey interviews with members of the Jacksonville area homeless population, those persons discussed their problems with substance abuse, but qualitative data on substance abuse within the homeless community was not released by Changing Homelessness. Although we do not know the exact number of homeless persons in the Jacksonville area who are suffering from substance abuse, it is encouraging to know that the overall rate of homelessness has decreased over the last decade. 

    IV. Take Action

    Many resources in Jacksonville and the surrounding area can provide assistance to those persons struggling with substance abuse. You can find a rehabilitation center near you by using our tool. Your local rehabilitation center can walk you through the process of determining your insurance coverage and your exact treatment needs. Many low-cost centers can help you even if you don’t have insurance or feel like you are unable to afford treatment.