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Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery in Florida


As more people than ever are battling substance abuse, the need for addiction treatment has skyrocketed. According to NIDA, the opioid epidemic currently claims the lives of approximately 115 addicts per day as a result of an opioid overdose. Due to the stark increase in the number of deaths as a result of addiction, addicts and their loved ones are desperately searching for an answer to their plight.

Substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida has become the solution for thousands of addicts and alcoholics throughout the United States each year.

Known as the recovery capital of the country, substance abuse treatment in Florida is now the model for substance abuse treatment in the rest of the country.

Apart from the fantastic tropical scenery that Florida possesses, seeking substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida has plenty of other benefits, too. Apart from out-of-state treatment being a great option for anyone seeking recovery, Florida is home to a robust recovery community. With thousands of treatment centers, halfway houses, and 12-step programs and their meetings in Florida, there are plenty of options for anyone on their journey in recovery.

However, there has recently been a negative connotation developing around substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida. Continue reading to learn more about addiction treatment and what the reality of addiction treatment in Florida is really about!


Annually, thousands of addicts and alcoholics make the state of Florida their new home. Journeying from various places around the United States, and sometimes even the world, they seek addiction treatment and recovery options in Florida. However, substance abuse problems are not simply an issue in the rest of the country and world, there are plenty of issues with addiction in Florida as well.

There has been a patterned increase in the substance abuse statistics across the United States within the past decade. As the opioid crisis continues to rage on throughout the country, more and more individuals find themselves battling opioid addiction. In response to the need of proper substance abuse treatment, many new facilities have opened their doors to addicts and alcoholics. This is especially true in Florida. Following the Pill Mill issue that plagued the Sunshine State several years ago, many addicts have been left with a severe opioid addiction or dependence with no way to acquire the drugs.

Sadly, the state of Florida is currently above the national average for drug-related deaths. According to the Florida Medical Examiner’s Office, in 2016, the leading causes of death claiming nearly 12,000 people were drug-related; about 61 percent died as a result of prescription pills. Many other illicit drugs were also cited in the report as the cause of death for many. Even cocaine is making a comeback—it claimed the lives of 1,769 people in 2015 alone.


Florida is not immune to the opioid crisis just because it’s the recovery capital of the country, either. The epidemic has caused a massive rise in the number of deaths as a result of opioid overdose in the United States for several years. As mentioned earlier, around 115 people are victims each and every day—and this number is steadily growing.

Florida is fighting its own battle against the opioid crisis as well. The Florida Medical Examiner’s Office also reports that of the 12,000 deaths, there was a huge increase in opioid overdoses as well. Throughout 2015, the number of opioid overdose deaths saw a 35 percent increase.

Opioids are a broad category of drugs encompassing multiple illicit and prescription substances. Besides prescription painkillers, drugs like heroin and fentanyl are also considered opioids.

Heroin-specific deaths saw an increase during this timeframe as well. There were approximately 952 heroin-related deaths in that year, causing an estimated 31 percent increase. Fentanyl is also the driving force behind other overdose deaths in the state of Florida. A total of 1,390 people were thought to have died from a Fentanyl overdose or Fentanyl analog overdose in 2015.

As a result of these statistics surrounding overdose deaths in Florida, treatment facilities have responded. The need for proper substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida has increased as well.

Substance abuse professionals are learning more about substance use and alcohol use disorders each day. As more information and understanding becomes available, new changes in addiction treatment follow. Florida itself is the leader in addiction treatment and recovery in the United States, even coining the “Florida Model” of addiction treatment—the leading method of conducting treatment throughout the country. It has since been implemented far and wide into the curriculums of addiction treatment facilities.


Much like now, in the 1970s and 1980s, there was a rise in substance abuse issues throughout the country. There was a dire need for proper substance abuse treatment, and in response to this demand, there were many recovering addicts and alcoholics who opened up their own treatment facilities in Florida.

More and more facilities continued to open their doors to the struggling addicts and alcoholics throughout the country, and similar patterns of operation began to be observed throughout the facilities. Since the state of Florida is a popular destination for vacationers and people around the world, it became a desirable place to seek addiction treatment as well. The addiction treatment facility owners decided to combine the desire for the relaxation of a vacation resort and the actual crucial need for addiction treatment, resulting in the birth of the Florida Model.

The amazing scenery filled with sunshine and beaches became the destination for addicts and alcoholics seeking recovery from all over the United States. This was especially true among those struggling with substance abuse in the North and Northeast areas of the United States, where cold weather and grey skies are common throughout most of the year. Clients came to Florida and began their addiction treatment process, which started out with higher levels of clinical and medical care and became less hands-on and structured as the clients traversed the program. The Florida Model boasts a “stepped” curriculum, allowing patients access to the appropriate levels of clinical and medical intervention depending on their progress in recovery.

Since the Florida Model of addiction treatment became so successful and effective, it has been duplicated in addiction treatment facilities all over the county. The Florida Model also puts a significant amount of focus on teaching important life skills and physical health by means of nutrition programs and promoting physical fitness.

Due to the explosion of addiction treatment facilities in Florida in the 1970s and 1980s, the state has developed a massive recovery community as a result. Many addicts and alcoholics who made the journey to drug rehab and alcohol rehab in Florida decided to move here and continue their journeys in recovery. Twelve-step programs in the state of Florida have the highest amount of active members than anywhere else in the United States due to the influx of recovery. This has served as an additional means of support for recovering addicts and alcoholics in Florida and has acted as another reason many people decide to stay in Florida long-term.


The full continuum of care refers to the stepped style of the Florida Model. This includes completing each level of addiction treatment. You start with the highest level of medical and clinical care and slowly progress to the lower levels of care, which feature less medical and clinical intervention. The idea is to provide you with the amount of hands-on care that is appropriate to your progress in recovery. Someone with only hours or days off of drugs and alcohol will require far more clinical and medical assistance than someone with six months sober.

There are several steps featured in the full continuum of care. The full continuum of care looks something like this, starting with the highest level of care first:

  • Detoxification
  • Inpatient or Residential
  • Partial-Hospitalization
  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Outpatient
  • Relapse Prevention

The levels of care mentioned above are used in conjunction with various addiction therapies and services intended to assist patients with support and therapeutic guidance. Addiction treatment hopes to teach patients a new and healthy manner in which to live. This can often be challenging for people newly in recovery who have never lived life as a sober person before. The additional services in these levels of care are meant to help you or your loved one find success in recovery. Some of these additional and helpful 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 add-ons to addiction treatment are essential for helping pave the way to success for you or your loved one in recovery and treatment. Each addiction treatment facility offers unique amenities and features. Weighing your options when deciding on the proper addiction treatment facility to attend is important.


If you are considering substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida, you may be overwhelmed with different options for facilities at first. With so many treatment centers vying for your attention, it can become difficult to isolate the perfect one to meet you or your loved one’s specific needs. Since addiction treatment is never one-size-fits-all, it’s important to find what works for you.

There are several factors that should be taken into consideration when attempting to find the right place to receive substance abuse treatment in Florida. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has set forth specific criteria designed to help you decipher the good treatment centers from the bad.

The following criteria are important points that should be considered while seeking a recovery program:


Accreditation is an important facet of addiction treatment since it refers to the facility holding specific licenses and certifications. There are multiple accreditations that can be awarded, such as JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) or CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). For a treatment center to receive these accreditations, they must meet strict standards of operation and criteria. This provides a level of quality control and can help you easily distinguish better treatment facilities.


Since medication and medication management can prove to be crucial factors in finding success in addiction treatment, it’s important to find out what the protocol is on medication management at your potential recovery program. Certain facilities may or may not provide medical services which may include medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or even simply prescription antidepressants.


Not all addiction treatment modalities and therapeutic practices are created equally. Some approaches to addiction treatment have been deemed “evidence-based”, meaning that these methods have been proven to be effective by the scientific community among the majority of clients. Using proven methods of addiction treatment is important to the overall effectiveness of an addiction treatment program


Having family support and loved ones involved in your addiction treatment has been proven to increase the likelihood of success in treatment. Certain facilities offer family programs that give loved one’s direct access and involvement in their addicted loved one’s addiction treatment program of recovery.


Recovery is a lifelong process. When rehab ends, recovery begins. Since maintaining sobriety is a difficult process, it’s important to ask what kind of support options your facility offers even after you complete the program. Having an effective addiction treatment program while you’re enrolled at the facility is important, but it may all prove to be useless without any follow-up support.


It’s no secret that addiction treatment can be expensive, and it’s difficult to put a price on sobriety. However, a quality addiction treatment facility will have multiple payment options available to you and your loved one in order to make addiction treatment a reality.

Indeed, most private health insurance companies will cover some or even most of the costs associated with receiving addiction treatment. This includes the cost of medications, therapy, and even accommodation for you or your loved one throughout the duration of addiction treatment. Depending on what your insurance plan covers, you may have little to no out-of-pocket costs to worry about. 

Typically, insurance plans will have a specific section outlining what they will and will not cover during addiction treatment, which means you or your loved one may already have coverage and not even know it!

Unfortunately, not everyone has private insurance. If it is not possible for you to utilize your insurance plan to afford addiction treatment, there is still hope. Many addiction treatment facilities offer “private pay” options. This form of payment allows you to correspond directly with the treatment facility and work out a payment plan to cover the cost of their recovery program. Depending on the facility, there may even be different options available that allow paying a portion of the costs over time by making incremental payments.


Are you or a loved one currently struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol? Let the experts at the Palm Beach Institute help you get back on your feet and live addiction free! If you’re looking for quality substance abuse treatment and recovery in Florida, look no further than PBI!

With several decades of experience in treating addiction disorders and dual diagnosis patients, we’re confident that our clinical and medical team can get you living your best happy, healthy, and sober life!

Our admissions specialists are standing by 24-7, ready to take your call and answer any questions or concerns you may have, verify your insurance, and get you started on the admissions process right away!

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314 10th St.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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