How to Find Quality Rehabs in Florida

If you’re exploring the idea of drug rehabilitation in the Sunshine State, you may feel wary due to past headlines concerning disreputable rehabs in Florida. However, there are many nationally certified and accredited rehabs in Florida that provide addiction treatment services according to industry standards and national best practices, including recent regulatory changes to improve treatment quality.

In this article:

Improvements to Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Florida

News headlines dating from 2015 spotlight a number of illegal and immoral business practices in sober houses and rehabs in Florida. These disturbing stories uncovered a range of illegal and nefarious practices—from rehab brokers, kickbacks, and insurance fraud—to immoral practices designed to keep patients in treatment. Once known as the “recovery capital of America,” South Florida became dubbed the nation’s “relapse capital.”1

The good news is the state has shut down more than a few rehabs in Florida, many of them located in South Florida. New regulations and requirements for certification and accreditation are also improving care in substance abuse treatment. For example, the Joint Commission—a nonprofit organization recognized as providing the “Gold Standard” in behavioral health care—issued new standards for organizations providing federally certified Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) services. In effect since July 1, 2020, the new standards require that:2

  • Each patient receive an individualized care plan immediately after admission into addiction treatment
  • Each patient be placed into the appropriate level of care through the use of a new evidence-based, multidimensional assessment process
  • Full program fees be communicated to patients before entering a program
  • Every OTP maintain staff trained in withdrawal management and CPR
  • Urine drug screenings be linked to a patient’s treatment program and outcomes

Furthermore, Florida’s sober houses are now required to be certified, under a new law that took effect July 1, 2019.3 Certification is managed by the Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR). Among its many standards, FARR certification requires that Florida sober houses provide:4

  • A physically and emotionally safe environment
  • An environment free of alcohol and drugs
  • Meaningful daily activities
  • Various recovery support and life skills development services
  • Development of a lifelong recovery and treatment exit plan

There are certified rehabs in Florida throughout the state, not just in South Florida. Florida has 668 addiction treatment centers with Joint Commission accreditation located in virtually every major city, including: 5

  • Jacksonville
  • Tallahassee
  • Orlando
  • Tampa
  • Melbourne
  • Cocoa Beach
  • Fort Myers

These facilities are in addition to the rehabs in South Florida cities, including West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.5

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If you have a specific rehab center in mind, you can use qualitycheck.org to check if it has achieved Joint Commission accreditation for behavioral health care and human services, which includes substance use treatment. The website will also tell you if a facility was denied accreditation.5  Because the Joint Commission accredits all health care organizations, select “addiction services” as a search parameter in the left navigation to narrow your results.

When viewing your search results, click the gold “view report” button to the right of the facility name. This will take you to a page where you can view the organization’s accreditation history. This will inform you of how long a treatment center in Florida has held accreditation, which may be an indication of how well-established its practice is. Joint Commission accreditation is reviewed every three years following an onsite survey.

Available services are also listed for each facility, such as community-based homes (sober houses), detox, 24-hour care or day programs, and partial hospitalization.

Tips for Finding Quality Rehabs in Florida

If you are not considering a specific alcohol or drug rehab in Florida, you may need help starting the process of finding quality treatment.

Have an Assessment

Many individuals begin substance misuse or addiction treatment after a formal screening or assessment. Only behavioral health clinicians can make a diagnosis of a substance use disorder, but other providers like your primary care doctor can screen for the signs of substance use disorder.

Substance use disorders are the clinical classification for the experiences broadly referred to as “addiction,” defined as “a problematic pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.” 6 Substance use disorders can be mild, moderate, or severe and can be classified based on the specific substance, such as alcohol use disorder.

The assessment may include questions about:

  • The substance(s) used
  • How often and how much you use the substance
  • If you experience withdrawal symptoms and which symptoms you experience
  • Your life circumstances, including your living situation, relationship with your family, and work status
  • Medical and behavioral health history

Addiction treatment is not one-size-fits-all and this information gives your provider they need to make recommendations about they type of care would most benefit you.

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Consult With a Trusted Provider

In addition to having an assessment with a behavioral health or medical professional, this provider or another trusted provider can offer recommendations or referrals to specific rehabs in Florida. This may be a primary care doctor, therapist, or counselor you are already seeing even if they do not specialize in addiction treatment.

Reaching out for treatment through a trusted provider offers the following benefits:

  • Allows a qualified provider to narrow down the level of care you may need, such as:
  • Provides you with a referral from a medical provider, which may be required for your insurance to authorize the addiction treatment services
  • Gives you an idea of which local rehabs in Florida tend to have openings and which have wait lists
  • Allows you to get an impression of the recommended rehab centers’ reputations from a provider

If you do not have a provider who can provide a referral or you do not feel comfortable disclosing your substance use to your current care team, call 800-839-1686Who Answers? to speak to our addiction treatment specialists about available services.

Contact Your Insurance Carrier

If you have insurance, your insurance carrier can provide a wealth of information about local alcohol and drug rehabs in Florida. Most insurance carriers maintain an online database of in-network providers that can be narrowed based of which services they provide.

Searching for rehab centers in this database can allow you to determine if the rehab is:

  • Accepting new clients
  • Fully covered by your plan or covered based on services
  • Equipped to serve your specific needs, such as offering treatment that is:
    • Age-specific, such as serving teenagers
    • In your first language or accommodating of multiple languages
    • Accessible to individuals who are part of the Deaf community or who are hard of hearing
    • Demographic-specific, such as for veterans or members of the LGBT community

Not every online directory is updated in real time for each provider. If you are not sure of the accuracy of the information or need more details, call your insurer’s membership services.

Membership services can also provide you with information about the specifics of:

  • Which services are covered and for how long (e.g., the approved length for residential programs)
  • If preauthorization is required, or if you need a provider to send paperwork that demonstrates your medical need for addiction treatment to your insurance

Questions to Ask About Rehabs in Florida

When you have narrowed down your search for alcohol or drug rehab in Florida to a few choices, you may not know how to make the final decision. Consider the recommendations of professionals, but you can also evaluate the facility yourself based on established principles of care.7

When looking for quality addiction treatment, ask the following questions:8

  • Does the program offer regular health screenings, including screenings for mental health?
  • Does each patient receive their own individualized treatment plant?
  • Does the program specialize in treating certain age group(s)?
  • Does the facility offer fast access to treatment or is there a wait list?
  • Does treatment incorporate long-term outpatient care and aftercare, such as medication management, counseling, and support groups?
  • Will you need sober housing? If so, is the sober living house in Florida certified by FARR?
  • Does the facility provide coordinated care for other chronic health conditions in addition to chemical dependency? These may include mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, diabetes, eating disorders, or conditions that require ongoing pain management.
  • Are the doctors and clinical staff properly educated, trained, and certified in their fields? Look for board-certified/board-eligible medical doctors and psychiatrists, board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, and licensed clinical social workers with experience treating substance use disorders.

With this information, you are better equipped to find quality rehabs in Florida.

To discuss drug and alcohol rehab options, call 800-839-1686Who Answers? to speak to an addiction treatment specialist.

References

  1. Lopez, G. (2020, March 2). She wanted addiction treatment. She ended up in the relapse capital of America. Vox.
  2. The Joint Commission. (2020, November 13). Encouraging Ethical Practices in Substance Use Disorder Care.
  3. Lynne, J. (2019, May 3). Breaking News – Florida Legislature Passes Latest Sober Homes Task Force SUD Treatment and Recovery Residence Legislation. Sober Law News.
  4. Florida Association of Recovery Residencies. NARR Quality Standards for Recovery Residences.
  5. The Joint Commission. (2021). Find a Gold Seal Health Care Organization. Quality Check.
  6. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.
  7. Shatterproof. (2021). About Shatterproof.
  8. Shatterproof. (2021). Revolutionizing addiction treatment.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by one of our treatment partners below.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by ARK Behavioral Health, a paid advertiser on AlcoholicsAnonymous.com.

All calls are private and confidential.

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