Why Traveling to North Florida for Addiction Treatment Might be Best for You
By Michael Rass
“The United States has a serious substance misuse problem,” former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy wrote in his comprehensive 2016 report on addiction. The addiction epidemic has left no state untouched. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under fifty. Despite the prevalence of addiction, only about one in ten people with a substance use disorder receive any kind of specialty treatment.
Addiction is a complex bio-psycho-social-spiritual disease requiring comprehensive treatment that addresses all the needs of the patient at the same time. Such high-quality treatment may be hard to find in your area, yet many patients and their loved ones hesitate to choose a rehab center that is far away from home.
Lakeview Health is based in the city of Jacksonville in northern Florida. Lakeview is a nationally recognized, Joint Commission accredited and licensed addiction and dual-diagnosis treatment center in the United States, and for those reasons attracts patients from across the country. The center specializes in treating addiction and many common co-occurring conditions like trauma, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain simultaneously.
One common condition is the co-occurrence of chronic pain and addiction. Many patients over-medicated themselves with opioid pain relievers and other substances or suffered serious injuries under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Now, they require therapy for their pain condition without the use of addictive substances.
Lakeview Health recently launched a new pain recovery treatment program designed to help people find healthy and effective solutions to their chronic pain while recovering from substance use disorders. Dr. Adrian Blotner, who is board certified in both psychiatry and pain medicine, leads this new service along with colleagues of the medical and clinical team.
Trauma-informed Gender-responsive Care
Another common co-occurring condition is trauma. Many patients with a substance use disorder are trying to numb emotional pain caused by horrific violence, sexual assault, or other traumatic experiences. “We can take a wide variety of patients because we have the staff to do so,” says Scott Apgar, who represents Lakeview Health in New York. “Lakeview can take care of dual-diagnosis patients, and all our staff have been trained in trauma-informed care.” Separate treatment programs for women and men also make a big difference. Gender-responsive treatment is another method to improve the chances of a successful recovery.
At Lakeview Health, patients can safely detox in the in-house facility with around-the-clock supervision by the medical team. The physical symptoms of withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can be very unpleasant, but the experienced team at Lakeview will do everything they can to make the process as comfortable as possible. The doctors and nurses can also handle many medical complications that patients might have, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
That makes Lakeview an attractive partner for healthcare providers in other cities around the country, such as Houston. “We have the doctors, the nurses, and the medical facilities to make a seamless transition from any clinic in Houston to rehab in Jacksonville,” says Danny Silianoff, Lakeview’s representative in South Texas. “We can provide equally good medical care. In some cases, it is superior because Lakeview is often better at treating the substance use disorder.”
Despite all these advantages, out-of-state patients sometimes think Jacksonville is too far away for them. But distance can be your ally in the battle with addiction. Especially in early recovery, it is important to get away from people, places, and things associated with prior drug and alcohol abuse. By traveling to a different state, patients are able to make a clean break at the start of their recovery journey.
Lakeview Health offers five levels of care and an integrative approach to substance use disorder treatment. The Lakeview Health team strives to treat the whole patient—body, mind, and spirit—using a multidisciplinary medical model that combines physiological, psychological, and psychosocial care. Therapy is highly personalized to meet each patient’s needs and circumstances.
Many times, the nearest addiction treatment center is not necessarily the best treatment option for you or your loved one. The situation is not that different from considering treatment options for other diseases. If you have cancer, you may seek treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, even if you don’t live in Texas. If you require heart surgery, the Cleveland Clinic is one of the best options in the country, for gastroenterology it is the Mayo Clinic. If you are looking for first-class addiction treatment, you should put Lakeview Health in Florida on your list.