As part of Lee County, Lehigh Acres is experiencing rapid population growth. A major downside of this is that it seems to have caused a sharp increase in substance use disorders.
Some areas in Lehigh Acres are unfortunately underdeveloped, which can make the population more susceptible to behavioral health issues. For example, there are long distances to travel between home and healthy food stores. There are also zero highly rated schools in the area. The result of this is lower education levels and less healthy lifestyles, which ultimately increase the likelihood of addiction.
According to data from the Lee County government, there are also high levels of homelessness and a large number of overdoses in Lehigh Acres. Another worrying trend across the whole state of Florida is the sheer number of drug overdose deaths. In 2015, there were 2,755 recorded deaths where drug use was listed as the main cause. In December 2019, this had more than doubled to 5,526.
Methamphetamine Use Is Increasing in Florida
Methamphetamine is causing major concern across all of Florida, including in Lehigh Acres. Although meth use in the state is slightly lower than it is across the entire nation, it’s been rising rapidly since a low point in 2008. This recent rise in use is also associated with a higher rate of overdose deaths as a result. The FADAA has ascribed this to the increase in concurrent heroin use, which has gone from 5.26% in 2006-2007 to 26.3% in 2017-2018.