The Sunshine State is known for its spectacular beaches, pleasant weather, and it is recognized as the hub for the ‘happiest place on earth’. However, Florida’s substance abuse problem isn’t hard to ignore--especially when sufferers are strapped for cash. Find ways on how to get free addiction treatment programs plus strategies on getting covered for premium rehab in this post.
When we think of Florida, we think of coastal living, laid-back culture, and year-round sunshine. Indeed, it is a beautiful state to visit and live in, but looking at it through a sharper lens helps us understand that there’s another side to the coin. Although Florida is often hailed as a tourist spot for its pristine coast, it is also riddled with problems such as substance abuse.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse indicated that although drug addiction all over the United States has declined, the demographics of substance abuse sufferers in Florida remains high. Particularly, many overdose victims died mainly from synthetic opioids, alcohol abuse, and drug mixing.
The prevalence of substance abuse is mostly seen in coastal areas, where reported alcohol and opioid abuse treatment admissions are particularly high compared to other regions of the state.
In 2019, The Ledger reported that Florida’s overall poverty rate increased to 1%. This, obviously, has increased all the more months leading up to the global pandemic. With other health and personal problems, some residents have set addiction treatment aside.
If you are one of these people, know that there are free resources available to help you get started with substance abuse treatment. Below, you can find no-cost and low-cost options plus strategies on how to get started with high-quality rehab with partial or full coverage.
Free Addiction Treatment Resource: Florida
How to Start Your Search for Free Treatment Resources and ProgramsSearching for free addiction treatment programs can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, you will find a logical step-by-step process to narrow down your search for an ideal free program depending on your needs.
- Take a look at the comprehensive list of free resources for Florida below: There are various kinds of free programs available--some involve counseling, peer support, faith-based groups, or structured programs that help people target the root cause of addiction. You can read through the choices to have a little bit of background for each.
- Choose 2-3 options that seem like a great fit: What kinds of programs fit your personality, beliefs, and background best? You can list down these options and keep their contact information. It is helpful to be open to new programs as well, even if you find it just slightly interesting, you can put it into consideration.
- Reach out and prepare: Once you have narrowed down your search, reach out to the organizations and point persons, while asking pertinent questions to get you ready for free treatment.
To help you get started in your search, below is a detailed list of free addiction treatment resources in Florida.
State-Funded ProgramsFlorida’s Department of Health has its own substance abuse program for residents under My Florida Families. They give referrals to programs within the resident’s community, such as structured intervention, life skills re-training, counseling, and peer-to-peer support.
My Florida Families also helps in demographic-specific addiction problems, such as juvenile substance abuse. To know more, you can visit their official website. There are also informational resources on the effects of drugs on women, such as the use of substances during pregnancy and pre-conception health.
Find Support LocallyThere are also non-profit organizations dedicated to battling substance abuse in Florida. These local meetings can either be secular or faith-based in nature. Some well-known options include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and church support groups.
Local AA MeetingsAlcoholics Anonymous is a nationwide program aimed to gather people going through alcohol addiction and recovery. It is a peer-based support system that allows participants to share their experiences, gather encouragement from each other, or to receive helpful strategies in managing addiction triggers. Since there are numerous chapters located in Florida, you can quickly search for a local group through the main Alcoholics Anonymous website.
Simply visit the database by clicking on your city, and you will be directed to the AA website of your community or chapter. There is also a contact number and a location detail of the AA group within your area.
Local NA MeetingsNarcotics Anonymous is also a non-profit program similar to AA but with a specific focus on drugs other than alcohol. Similar to AA, it is also peer-based and has local installments within Florida. NA meetings can be done in-person or virtually, and you can find groups that fit your schedule and other preferences. Florida has its main NA website, which is called the Florida Region of Narcotics Anonymous.
On the website, you’ll find events, announcements, databases, and opportunities to provide support for members.
Faith-Based MeetingsIf you wish to discover a spiritual approach to addiction treatment, there are also free faith-based support groups all over the state. You can simply find a church in your area and ask if they offer “discipleship groups” or “life groups” that you can join. These Christian groups can help you tackle addiction based on spiritual and Biblical principles.
Here are examples of churches that offer support groups:
Online Self-Help ForumsIf setting up meetings with people seems like an all-too-drastic step, there are also support-based forums you can join to battle substance abuse. These addiction recovery forums are filled with people who can give you support on your journey. Find a complete list on this website, as well as a sub-Reddit for addiction help.
Other Options / Paid OptionsFor others, addiction treatment needs to be highly structured and a team of experts is necessary to achieve full recovery. If you have tried the free resources mentioned above and have not succeeded, below are also some ways to get premium addiction treatment with full or partial coverage.
ScholarshipsIf you are a high school graduate looking to get into a university, a great way to receive addiction treatment is through a scholarship. Many well-known universities have sober living homes and addiction treatment programs free for students.
A strategy you can take is to apply for scholarships in these Florida universities to receive addiction help as a student. You can take a look at available Florida scholarships at Unigo.com and Scholarships.com.
InsuranceMany health insurance companies already cover most inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment services as provided by the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Even if your insurance policy doesn’t particularly define addiction treatment as part of their coverage, you may receive services related to substance abuse, such as lab testing, psychotherapy, or even a full-treatment rehab. You can verify your insurance to know what your provider covers during rehab.
LoansNot planning to go to college, or don’t have insurance coverage? There is also another option available for you. It is possible to take out a personal loan for medical reasons, such as substance abuse treatment. There are credit unions such as FLCU and We Florida Financial to assist you with your needs. WalletHub also has a great list of personal loan lenders with competitive rates.
12-Step Programs and Non-ReligiousIf you are thinking of going through full-on addiction treatment, some of the well-known programs you will encounter are the 12-Step and Non-Religious options.
12-Step involves a spiritual-based protocol where people recognize their powerlessness over the addiction and their reliance on a Higher Power to overcome their substance abuse problems. 12-Step is one of the approaches which have high retention rates and effectivity especially for people who have a spiritual need to break the chains of addiction.
On the other hand, Non-religious programs are aimed at people who want a more secular approach to addiction treatment. Many of these involve self-management, holistic therapies, and psychotherapies to overcome substance abuse.
Friends and FamilyYour loved ones are also a valuable resource when you’re in need of financial help in addiction recovery. If it is possible, you can also reach out to them, asking them to become a sponsor for your full treatment. You may set up a GoFundMe page, or contact them personally. Keep in mind that these people love and support you, and being open to their help can take you a step closer towards recovery as well.
Recovery Advice When Money Is ScarceThere is no single right path to addiction recovery--your journey is unique from others. However, there are some steps you can take to make substance abuse recovery realistic for you even when you are struggling with finances.
- Get started with free treatment as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have the complete financial resources to undergo premium rehab, getting started is miles away better than having nothing. Your commitment to quitting drugs and alcohol will lessen the life-threatening risk of ongoing abuse, and will also allow you to have a mindset to achieve a better life.
- Gradually finance a high-quality rehab. If you’ve experienced a relapse and would want a more comprehensive treatment, you can gradually fund the cost of rehab through the several strategies mentioned above. If you’ve received employment, ask if they cover health insurance. You can also reach out one by one to friends and family, or take the time to apply for a personal loan.
- Get support in your community. Your community is a vital influence on your successful addiction recovery. Make sure to get support through peer groups, faith-based programs, or any other resources you can find to help you keep on track.
Addiction’s hold can be strong, but your will to recover is much stronger. Through these resources and strategies, you can beat substance abuse and achieve a healthier, more fulfilling life.
- Drugabuse.gov - “Florida: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms”.
- Theledger.com - “US Census Bureau: Florida’s poverty rate up 1%”.
- Myflfamilies.com - “Treatment for Substance Abuse”.
- Floridahealth.gov - “Effects of Drug Use During Pregnancy”.
- Aa.org - “A.A. Near You”.
- Naflorida.org - “Florida Region Narcotics Anonymous”.
- Catcorlando.com - “Life Groups”.
- Wearecrossing.com - “Life Groups”.
- Miamivineyard.com - “Life Groups”.
- Reddit.com - “You Can Recover”.
- Scholarships.com - “Florida Scholarships”.
- Unigo.com - “Florida Scholarships”.
- Cms.gov - “The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)”.
- Flcu.org - “Personal Loans”.
- Wefloridafinancial.com - “Personal Loans - Credit Union for Florida”.
- Wallethub.com - “Best Personal Loans in Florida”.
- Gofundme.com - “Creating a GoFundMe From Start to Finish”.