Pensacola, known as the “upside of Florida”, is a city in Florida that sits right along the Pensacola Bay and borders Alabama. According to the 2010 United States Census, approximately 51,923 people lived in Pensacola. It is estimated that in 2016, there were 53,779 people living in the area. Pensacola, FL is home to a Naval Air Station where the Blue Angels demonstration team is based, as well as the National Naval Aviation Museum.
Pensacola was originally inhabited by Native Americans, dating all the way back to 1250 A.D. By the 1520s, Spanish explorers and Conquistadors took over the land until the French began moving in on them from parts of Louisiana. The Spanish quickly moved to another part of Florida before the French arrived, leaving Pensacola available for the taking. By 1763, in the midst of the French and Indian War, both the French and the Spanish ceded to the British and handed over the land. However, towards the end of the War of 1812, America was awarded Florida, including Pensacola, and it has been part of the United States ever since. Because of the several international turnovers, Pensacola is often referred to as the “City of Five Flags”.
Today, Pensacola is often visited because of its white sand beaches and warm weather. However, the people who live in this part of Florida only make an average of $34,779 a year and 16.3% of the population live below the poverty line.
Approximately 66.3% of the population is Caucasian, 28% is African American, 2% is Asian, 3.3% are Hispanic, and 2.3% are of two races or more. Less than 1% combined include Pacific Islanders and Native Americans.
Pensacola and Drugs
Like other cities in the United States, Pensacola sees its fair share of substance abuse and deaths associated with overdose. One of the biggest problems in the area is heroin abuse.
The Florida Medical Examiners Commission reported that between 2001 and 2013, nine people died at the hands of heroin. In 2014 alone, however, 12 people overdosed on heroin, a number that is larger than the previous 12 years combined. By 2015, that number more than doubled with 28 people having lost their lives due to heroin abuse and addiction. In 2016, total drug-related death rates increased by 22% in the state of Florida.
Similar to other parts of the country, rates of prescription painkiller abuse are slowly declining, but only because more people are turning to heroin, as it produces the same feelings as prescription painkillers but is cheaper and easier to obtain.
In addition to opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers, residents of Pensacola with substance use disorders tend to abuse alcohol, meth, cocaine in addition to heroin and prescription painkillers like OxyContin and fentanyl.
Do You Need Help?
If you are addicted to any type of drug, do not lose hope. Reaching out and asking for help can save your life and stop any further consequences from occurring before it becomes too late. You have the power to change your life for the better. Make the call today.