Florida often brings to mind warm breezes, swaying palm trees, and miles of sandy beaches on either of its coasts. The state is full of get-a-away places and sleepy towns that invite everyone—from residents to out-of-towners—to soak up the sun and relax.
In addition to providing the perfect setting for relaxation, Florida is known as the recovery capital of the U.S. because of the many addiction treatment centers, sober-living homes, and 12-step programs that call it home. Thousands of people come here to address their addictions and put their lives back together in this tropical paradise.
But Florida’s reputation as the “Rehab Capital of America” means many things, including having so many choices that it can be challenging to find the right center that meets all individual needs and provides quality care. Fortunately, there are a variety of resources that can help people who need treatment and their families find what they are looking for.
In addition to gorgeous beaches and alluring weather, Florida offers efficient and comprehensive plans to help drug and alcohol addiction. Many of the treatment options offered at centers follow what has become known as the Florida Model of recovery. This rehab approach, which flourished in the 1970s and 1980s, provides treatment to people in recovery with a traditional 28-day inpatient program in which they stayed on site in a residential facility and addressed their addiction.
At the center of the Florida model is cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling. People participate in group therapy and individual therapy sessions where they learn how to identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that aided their addiction. They also practice demonstrating personal responsibility and life skills. A key feature of the Florida Model is its promotion of the peer recovery community. People in recovery are encouraged to connect with others with similar goals to stay on the path to long-term sobriety.
Many South Florida addiction treatment centers start clients in an inpatient medical detoxification and then move them to rehabilitation services that could include partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, or intensive outpatient treatment. Outpatient services are less expensive than inpatient ones since clients do not have to stay on site 24/7.
All treatment plans are tailored to the needs of the person who receives the treatment. When traditional treatment ends, some clients move to transitional housing, known as sober-living homes, where they learn to rejoin society at their own pace while living on their own in a supervised environment.
Florida’s $1 billion recovery industry has a variety of treatment centers that offer services to help people who are battling substance abuse and addiction. Many people will struggle to overcome their addiction when they try to do it on their own outside of professional help. But the good thing is they don’t have to do it alone.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. The disease can change the brain long after substance abuse has stopped, which is why users are vulnerable to relapse. While it is treatable with the appropriate programs, research shows that at least three months (90 days) or more are needed to properly treat a substance addiction.
According to SAMHSA, the treatment system for substance use disorders is made up of multiple services, and many Southern Florida drug addiction treatment centers offer them. They include:
Substance use treatment is customized according to the needs and preferences of the person receiving treatment. Therefore, a person may not need all of these services, but each serves a specific role.
Treatment is available for:
Before substance use treatment plans are established, clients undergo an evaluation of their physical and mental health to determine which approach is best. A person may not need all of these services listed above, but they likely will be advised of which services best fit their situation.
With so many kinds of addiction treatment centers and programs in Florida, it can be a daunting task to find the right one for you or your loved one. If you are not sure where to start, consider doing an online search to look for centers or calling the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) free National Helpline, which offers treatment referral and information service in English and Spanish. The help line’s phone number is toll-free at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
The service is available 24/7, 365 days a year to people who are facing mental and/or substance use disorders as well as their families. All information is kept confidential. SAMHSA writes, “This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.”
When you have identified one or more centers that appeal to you, ask any questions that can help you understand what is offered at each center. Asking questions can help you figure out which high-level facility would be best for you and the quality of care that is offered at that facility. SAMHSA advises that you ask questions about a center’s accreditation, medication, evidence-based practices, families, and supports.
“Good quality programs will have a good inspection record and both the program and the staff should have received training in the treatment of substance use and mental disorders and be licensed or registered in the state,” it says on its website.
To check the facility’s accreditation, contact the Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (JCAHO), a nonprofit organization that provides independent accreditation and certification of health organizations. Before organizations can receive accreditation from JCAHO, they must meet criteria pertaining to quality and performance levels. You can search for accredited organizations on the Joint Commissions’ website.
Here are questions SAMHSA advises you ask before choosing where you or your loved one will receive treatment. The agency says the five areas listed below are signs of quality treatment.
Fighting Addiction Yourself is Difficult.
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Many people use their insurance coverage to partially or fully pay for addiction treatment services. As you consider alcohol and drug rehab programs offered in Florida, you may need to call your insurer to verify if your plan will cover the programs offered or the ones you want to join. You also are advised to ask if your insurer has a network of preferred providers that you can use. If you don’t have insurance coverage, SAMHSA advises that each state has funding that provides funding for people who don’t have coverage. Find out where to call for information about payment services.
You also can reach out directly to a drug or alcohol treatment center and talk with a representative who can walk you through the insurance verification process and help you figure out what information you need. Delphi Behavioral Health Group’s call representatives are standing by and waiting to help you. Give us a call at 844-899-5777 to see how we can help you or your loved one.
Florida, like much of the nation, has its share of substance abuse and addiction challenges. The state has been above the national average for drug-induced deaths. And 2017 data from the Florida Medical Examiner’s Office showed that in late 2016, drugs, including prescription drugs, were involved in 11,910 deaths across the state. According to the report, the five most frequently occurring drugs found in the deceased in drug-related cases in Florida were ethyl alcohol, benzodiazepines, cocaine, cannabinoids (2,292), and morphine (2,040).
The opioid crisis that has put the United States in the middle of a public health emergency has affected Florida, too, and resulted in many overdose deaths in the Sunshine State. According to data, in 2016, fentanyl caused 1,390 deaths, heroin caused 952 deaths, oxycodone caused 723 deaths, and hydrocodone caused 245 deaths.
Florida has not taken the news of these deaths lightly. In March 2018, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a unanimously passed bill (HB 21), which aims to discourage and prevent patients from developing an addiction to prescription pain relievers. It also aims to prevent some people in that population from turning to street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.
A key part of the legislation limits the number of doctor prescriptions for patients who need acute pain treatment. In many cases, doctors would be limited to writing three-day prescriptions. However, they could prescribe up to seven days’ worth of supplies if it is deemed medically necessary, according to the bill.
Under the bill, physicians or their staff members are required to check a statewide prescription database before prescribing or dispensing controlled substances.
Florida also has taken the lead on regulating sober homes in the state. In summer 2017, Florida lawmakers passed legislation that boosts the state’s role in enforcing stricter regulations for the substance abuse treatment industry and prosecuting treatment providers and sober-home owners who engage in deceptive practices that are common in the addiction treatment industry. Among those are fraudulent marketing strategies and patient brokering in which client referrals are exchanged for payments of any kind. House Bill 807, also known as the Practices of Substance Abuse Service Providers Act, took effect on July 1, 2017.
The measure cracks down on common deceptive practices that have been used in the addiction treatment industry, including fraudulent marketing strategies and patient brokering in which client referrals are exchanged for payments of any kind.
Finding facilities that offer trusted South Florida addiction treatment that can be trusted may have gotten a boost from both recently passed legislation. Because many people make the trip to South Florida for drug treatment and recovery services, it is important that they know they will receive the care they can trust.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement. (November 2017). Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Medical Examiners. Retrieved March, 2018 from https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MEC/Publications-and-Forms/Documents/Drugs-in-Deceased-Persons/2016-Annual-Drug-Report.aspx
Saunders, Jim. (2018, March 19). Gov. Rick Scott signs bill targeting opioid addiction in Florida. Retrieved March, 2018 from https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2018/03/19/gov-rick-scott-signs-bill-targeting-opioid-addiction-florida/438455002/
News Service of Florida. (2018, March 2018). Rick Scott signs bill targeting opioid addiction. Retrieved March, 2018 from http://floridapolitics.com/archives/259262-rick-scott-signs-bill-targeting-opioid-addiction
SAMHSA. (n.d.) “Finding Quality Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved June 2018 from https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//PEP18-TREATMENT-LOC/PEP18-TREATMENT-LOC.pdf