AdventHealth Partners to Open First-of-Its-Kind Center to Fight Opioids

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Facilities, set to open in early 2020, will support substance abuse treatment.

AdventHealth, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County Emergency Medical Services/Fire Rescue and the Board of County Commissioners in Florida, United States, are launching a unique partnership to combat the opioid epidemic.

A key element of the partnership is a new addictions recovery center in Sanford that will provide clinically supported residential substance abuse treatment when it opens in early 2020. It is the first time in Florida that a health-care system and law enforcement are coming together to open such a facility.

“Unfortunately, people with opioid issues have been trapped in a cycle of ‘catch, treat, release,’” said Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma during the official announcement on October 24, 2019. “This partnership and a new model for using medically based treatment to help those with substance abuse disorders will help us break that cycle. Expanding addiction treatment in the region will not only ensure people receive needed care and support after they leave the hospital, but it will also set them up for success after.”

When fully operational, the addictions recovery center will eventually house up to 40 men and 10 women and will provide up to 30 days of overnight care. In addition to mental health and medication-assisted treatment, patients will be supported with services that address their educational, vocational, behavioral, and housing needs upon discharge. Clients could be referred directly from AdventHealth, the jail, or from the community. 

Conditions in Central Florida reflect the opioid crisis that has spread across the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 47,000 deaths involving opioids were reported in 2017, a 45-percent increase from 2016. And according to the Sheriff’s Office, about 650 people in Seminole County overdosed on opioids, and 82 of them died, in 2018 — a 32-percent jump in deaths from two years earlier.

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