Destin, Florida is located right on the panhandle of the state and sits along the Emerald Coast. This city is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and emerald green waters, as well as for the vast amount of fish in the area. In fact, Destin used to be a fishing village and is now known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”. It is also home to the biggest fishing fleet in the entire state.

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Today, Destin remains one of the most commonly visited areas in the state, with more than 80% of those who visit the Emerald Coast each year stopping to visit Destin. Even celebrities are drawn to the city, as stars such as Britney Spears, Sheryl Crow, and John Grisham own homes in Destin.


For as popular as Destin is for tourists, this city is rather small. According to the 2017 United States Census, 13,765 people reside in Destin. Approximately 16.7% of the population include individuals over the age of 65, while 17.2% of the population are those under the age of 18.

The majority of Destin residents (86.1% to be exact) are Caucasian, the Hispanic and Latino community make up 10.2% of the population, 2% are Asian, and 2.3% of residents are African American. Another 1.8% of the population are of two or more races.

Within Destin, roughly 13% of families speak another language other than English at home. Twenty-one percent of the population under age 65 do not have health insurance and 7.1% of people live below the poverty line. The median household income is $71,407.

Destin and Drug Abuse

Destin has been dealing with and continues to face excessive amounts of substance abuse. The Florida Department of Health reports the following for Destin:

  • 1,100 opioids (OxyContin, fentanyl, Percocet) are prescribed for every 1,000 people
  • 516 benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Valium) are prescribed for every 1,000 people
  • 45 stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin) are prescribed for every 1,000 people

These numbers show how accessible prescription drugs are in this small city. Even if the person who is prescribed the medication does not abuse it, a family member or a friend might begin abusing it for self-medication purposes or turn around and sell it to others.

In addition to prescription drugs, heroin reigns supreme as the most abused substance in the area. In keeping with the rest of the country, those with substance use disorders in Destin are likely abusing heroin or have experience abusing it in the past. Additionally, other addictive substances like meth and cocaine are prominent in this area and are being regularly abused.

Do You Need Help?

If you are living in Destin and are struggling with a substance use disorder, reach out and grab the help you need in order to survive. The longer that your substance use disorder lasts, the more likely you are to suffer severe physical and psychological consequences, as well as possibly lose your life. So, do not let another day pass you by. Ask for the help you need in order to overcome the challenge of addiction and begin a life of recovery.