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Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery in Florida

Substance abuse is a huge problem throughout the country. Millions of people are currently struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. That said, this increase in the number of people battling drug addiction has called for a greater demand in addiction treatment services.

Perhaps one of the premier locations for substance abuse services is Florida. In the past decade, substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida has exploded. Thousands of addicts and alcoholics travel to the Sunshine State each year in search of an answer to their substance use disorder. Out-of-state treatment has long been a popular approach to addiction treatment. 

There are plenty of benefits from seeking substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida like a beautiful location, a larger recovery community, and many different job opportunities are just to name a few. However, recently, there has been a more negative light cast upon the recovery industry and community in Florida. Read on to learn what substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida actually entails and why it’s still the best location to seek sobriety!

Substance Abuse Statistics in Florida

Florida is the destination for thousands of addicts and alcoholics every year. They fly in from all over the country with one goal in mind: sobriety in the sun. But substance abuse isn’t just happening elsewhere; there is plenty of addicts and alcoholics struggling right here in Florida.

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The trend of substance abuse statistics nationwide has increased over the past few years with the explosion of the opioid crisis. As more and more people fall victim to the addictive nature of opioids, the desperate need for substantial addiction treatment services skyrockets. Here in Florida, there are plenty of individuals struggling with an addiction to opioids. Following the Pill Mill scandal that plagued Florida in the mid 2000s, many have been left addicted to opioids with no access to the drug.

Unfortunately, Florida is currently above the national average for drug-related deaths. According to the Florida Medical Examiner’s Office, in 2016, drugs were the cause of death for nearly 12,000 people throughout the entire state. In fact, it states that 11,910 deaths were associated with drug use. 

This figure excludes the use of alcohol, and presents prescription drugs as the primary cause of these deaths. Prescription pill related deaths account for 61 percent of the entire number, although plenty of other illicit and prescription substances contributed to this disturbing figure. Cocaine is actually the culprit causing more deaths as a result of illicit drug use, with approximately 1,769 deaths reported in 2015.

The Opioid Crisis in Florida

As stated earlier, the opioid epidemic has been causing a rapid increase in opioid overdose related deaths throughout the United States for the last several years. It’s currently estimated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that 115 people die as a result of opioid overdoses each day. 

Florida is not exempt from the crisis. Out of the 12,000 drug-related deaths reported by the Florida Medical Examiner’s Office in 2016, there was a massive increase in opioid overdose deaths. Across the year in 2015, the number of these overdose deaths increased nearly 35 percent! This means that approximately 5,725 people lost their lives from opioid overdose that year.

Heroin-specific related deaths also increased. 952 people overdose as a result of heroin ingestion creating a 31 percent increase that year. Fentanyl, another opioid, also caused a rapid increase in overdose deaths in Florida. 1,390 people died from Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogs.

The severe health issues being posed by opioid crisis has caused the need for substance abuse treatment in Florida to increase. 

As substance abuse specialists learn more about the disease of addiction, there are further changes in the manner in which addiction treatment is conducted. Florida specifically boasts what’s become known across the nation as “The Florida Model” of addiction treatment. This addiction treatment method has become the standard in modern substance abuse recovery facilities and mimicked throughout the country.

The Florida Model

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, there was a rapid spike in substance abuse problems plaguing citizens of the United States. In response to the demand for more and better addiction treatment programs, many recovering addicts and alcoholics opened their very own substance abuse treatment centers in Florida.

As more of these facilities and programs opened their doors, similar patterns of operation became apparent. Florida itself is a popular vacation destination spot for families and people of across all demographics. With beautiful beaches and wonderful vacation resorts, Florida is one of the most sought-after vacation spots. Treatment center owners decided to combine the lust for the relaxation of a resort and the dire need for addiction treatment. Thus, the Florida Model was born.


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The beautiful sun and beaches became the ideal place for addicts and alcoholics across the country to seek treatment, particularly from the Northeast area of the United States. With multiple different facilities available to choose from in this tropical paradise, Florida has become the “recovery capital” of the country.

The Florida Model offers resort-like amenities to patients while simultaneously providing an intensive treatment approach. By starting off with a high level of clinical and medical intervention and slowly becoming less structured throughout the patient’s progress through the program, the Florida Model presents a “stepped” curriculum.

The Florida Model of addiction treatment also puts emphasis on teaching life skills and promoting physical health through nutrition programs and physical fitness. The well-rounded stepped style of the Florida Model has been duplicated throughout treatment centers around the country, and to date is still the most effective addiction treatment model for substance abuse recovery.

Florida also has a very broad recovery community as a whole. Twelve-step programs have the highest number of members than anywhere else in the country as many of the treatment centers’ patients decide to relocate to Florida permanently. This provides a well of support for you during your stay in Florida and provides a vast community and life-style dedicated to recovery and living sober in which to immerse yourself.

The Full Continuum of Care

The full continuum of care is a term you may have encountered while exploring substance abuse and recovery in Florida. This refers to the aforementioned stepped curriculum. By starting off in the highest level of care and slowly descending the stepped style of treatment into lower levels of care, you will gradually gain back personal freedom and responsibilities as you develop your foundation in recovery.

The steps included in the full continuum of care are:

  • Detox
  • Inpatient or Residential
  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Outpatient
  • Maintenance Programs (Relapse Prevention or 12 Step Programs)

These levels of care are combined with different services designed to help provide you as much support and therapeutic guidance as possible. Since addiction treatment offers an entirely new way to live, it can often present different challenges for newly recovering people. The additional services provided within these levels of care are intended to help you be as successful as possible.

Some of these various services are:

  • Individual Counselling
  • Group Counselling
  • Customized Individual Treatment Plans
  • Medication Management
  • Case and Care Management
  • Aftercare Recovery Support Services
  • 12-Step Programs
  • Access to Peer Support

These different perks of effective addiction treatment programs are crucial to helping you find success in treatment and sobriety as a whole. There are different amenities and features that are individual to every single addiction recovery program that should be sought after when making the life-altering decision on where to seek substance abuse treatment in Florida.

What to Look for In Treatment

With so many options for substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida, it can be fairly overwhelming when attempting to find the right addiction treatment center for you. While the Florida Model is fairly standard, each individual facility offers a wide array of different addiction therapies and amenities. 

Luckily, there are several different criteria that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) recommends you consider whenever looking into a program for substance abuse treatment in Florida.

Some of the criteria you should consider when researching recovery programs are:

 Accreditation refers to holding specific licenses and certifications. Some of the different accreditations are JCAHO  (Joint Commision on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) or CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). In order to receive different accreditations, the facility must meet strict standards of operation and criteria. This helps provide quality control and can help you distinguish facilities with better practices.

It’s important to find out what the procedure is on medication and medication management. Some facilities provide medication services, which may include providing different prescription antidepressants or even providing medication assisted treatment. Learning more about your potential drug rehab’s stance on utilizing medication in treatment is important prior to enrolling in their program. 

Certain addiction treatment modalities and therapeutic practices have earned the title of being “evidence based”. This means that across multiple, extensive studies that these particular approaches to addiction treatment have been shown to be effective in the majority of clients. You want to know that your alcohol rehab or drug rehab uses the latest proven methods of treatment in order to get the most out of your stay at the facility. 

Is the facility you’re considering inclusive when it comes to family members? Since many people cite family difficulties as a primary source for their addiction, as well as citing family as the most important support system, it’s crucial to have family members involved in every aspect of addiction treatment and recovery. By doing so, you have a much greater chance of success in treatment and recovery for years to come. 

It’s important to always see what kind of aftercare or alumni programs are offered by the facility of your choice as well. While having a great treatment program during your stay is vital and an integral part of treatment, perhaps even more important is the follow up support provided by the facility after the program ends. Since recovery is an ongoing process that doesn’t simply end when treatment does, making sure that your facility will continue to provide you assistance in your recovery beyond simply being enrolled in the program is an important factor to consider as well.

How To Pay for Treatment

You may also be wondering just how to afford substance abuse treatment in Florida. It may seem completely impossible, but in actuality, there are several different payment options readily available to make receiving treatment attainable and affordable.

Most private health insurance companies will cover some or all of the out-of-pocket costs associated with addiction treatment. This means that depending on your insurance plan, you may be responsible for little to no cost on your own. Insurance companies will usually have a specific portion of your health plan designated to cover addiction treatment and its associated costs, which means that you may already be covered and not even know it.

If private insurance is not an option for you, there is still hope yet. Most treatment centers offer what are known as “private pay” options. This means that you can correspond with the treatment facility and work out a payment plan to cover the costs of addiction treatment. There may be different options available that include paying portions of the bills over time in smaller increments to make affording the process feasible.

Start Your Treatment in Florida Today

Are you or a loved one currently struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol? Are you looking for top-rated substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida? Allow Arete Recovery to be your destination for sobriety! With our experienced staff of addiction professionals that include a full medical and clinical team, let us help you reclaim your life and learn to live substance free!

By calling now, you’ll be connected to one of our admissions specialists who can answer any question or concern you may have. Our admissions team is available 24-7 and ready to get you started on the admissions process right now.

Get Help Now 954-893-2710

Addiction is a chronic, progressive, and life-threatening disease that can impact your life mentally, financially, and physically. There is no need to live in addiction for another minute—help is within your reach. Call (855) 781-9939 or contact us online today and take the first step in your journey in recovery and get started living your best happy, healthy, and sober life now!


Silvestrini, E. (2014, August 31). Florida heals from pill mill epidemic. Retrieved April 05, 2018, from

The Executive Office of the President of the United States. (2015, January 1). Florida Drug Control Update. Retrieved April 5, 2018, from

The Medical Examiners Commission. (2017, November). Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Medical Examiners. Retrieved April 5, 2018, from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, March 06). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from

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