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Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery in Weston

Weston, Florida is a planned suburban community in the southwestern corner of Broward County. It’s home to more than 70,000 residents and a popular city for families. Though Weston is an idyllic suburban setting by many standards, it’s not immune to the opioid epidemic that’s spreading across the United States.

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Substance Abuse in Florida

Addiction isn’t selective about who it can affect, and people from every race, geographic location, and income bracket have experienced the disease. South Florida has even seen an influx of fentanyl, a powerful opioid that has caused a surge in the opioid epidemic in the past few years. Broward County has seen 94 recorded overdose deaths where fentanyl was involved between 2014 and 2016.

What Is Substance Abuse Treatment?

Substance abuse treatment, more commonly called addiction treatment or rehab, is a process that addresses the physical, psychological, and social problems that are directly or indirectly related to addiction. Effective addiction treatment addresses substance abuse directly, but it also treats co-occurring issues like psychological issues, legal trouble, financial instability, and a lack of life skills.

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It’s difficult to identify the specific causes of a substance use disorder definitively. Generally, it’s a combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors that work together to lead to addiction. Plus, addiction can cause things like health and social problems that can complicate treatment. For those reasons, addiction treatment is complex and tailored to individual needs.

Addiction is treated in four basic levels of care that are designed to meet a person’s specific needs. To determine the level of care that’s ideal for any given person, clinicians use an assessment called the ASAM criteria, which is a set of six dimensions of need outlined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. This assessment is used to place people in one of the following categories based on their current medical and psychological needs:

  • Medical detox. Medical detoxification is a process where your body recovers from chemical dependence, with the help of medical professionals. It involves 24-hour medically managed services and monitoring. As you go through uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal, medical detox will help to maintain your safety and mitigate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Detox can also help people with other problems that need medical management like infectious diseases.
  • Inpatient services. Inpatient and residential treatment involve 24-hour medically monitored or clinically managed treatment. It’s not as intensive as medical detox, but still offers treatment that’s equipped to provide ongoing medical and psychological needs.
  • Intensive outpatient. Intensive outpatient services involve more than nine hours of treatment services each week while you live at home. Partial hospitalization falls under intensive outpatient and entails more than 20 hours of treatment each week. At this level of care, you will have more access to free time and independent life responsibilities.
  • Outpatient services. Outpatient treatment is the lowest level of care in addition to treatment and involves fewer than nine hours of treatment services each week. This level of care is an essential step between higher levels of care and complete independence.

What to Look for in Substance Abuse Treatment

Because addiction and overdose have reached epidemic levels in the United States, addiction treatment options are available all over the country. But not every addiction treatment program will be equally effective for you. If you’re looking for an addiction treatment program in the Weston area, you will want to find something that can effectively address your needs. Finding the right treatment program might seem like a difficult task, but it helps to know what to look for. 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has outlined a list of thirteen principles of effective addiction treatment. These principles are based on the best evidence-based practices that have shown to be effective in scientific studies. Many of these principles have become cornerstones in addiction treatment programs and industry standards. Here are a few of the most important factors to consider:

  • Addiction is chronic but treatable. Addiction is a complex disease that we haven’t always understood and still requires more research. It used to be thought of as a bad habit or a moral failing, and it was addressed with punishment. Today we’ve come to learn that it’s a disease that affects the brain and can be treated. An effective treatment program will approach addiction as a chronic disease, but one that can be successfully managed.
  • Treatment should be personalized. Some diseases have standard treatment options that seem to work in most cases. Addiction is more complicated. It can come with many different underlying causes and consequences that need to be addressed specifically. For that reason, there is no one treatment plan that will work for everyone. A treatment center should be equipped to tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs. Otherwise, unaddressed issues can jeopardize your sobriety.
  • Treatment should address multiple needs. Because treatment is so complicated, it needs to cover a variety of issues besides just substance abuse. Substance use disorders commonly have other underlying problems like depression, past trauma, and other life problems. To effectively treat addiction, these other problems have to be addressed simultaneously, or else they might feed off and worsen one another.
  • Treatment needs to last long enough. Detox helps your brain and body recover from chemical dependence, but it takes more than a week of detox to get over an addiction. Studies show that treatment should last for a minimum of 90 days to be the most effective. The length of time you spend in treatment will depend on your own progress and needs, but three months is the gold standard.
  • Treatment should be readily available. The decision to seek treatment is a big step towards your recovery. Plus, every day in active addiction risks your health and well-being. Effective treatment programs will work to get people who need addiction treatment into a program as quickly as possible. Federally funded treatment programs are good options for people with limited resources, but they often take several days or weeks to get you into a program. Private programs work to offer treatment within 24 hours of your first call.
  • Behavioral therapies are recommended. Though every treatment plan is unique, behavioral therapies are common and frequently recommended in addiction treatment. Behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on facilitating lasting behavioral changes, increasing motivation, and helping to advance your readiness to change. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most popular therapy options for addiction treatment, and it’s often used to create relapse prevention strategies, identify triggers, and develop positive coping strategies.


ASAM. (n.d.). What is the ASAM Criteria? American Society of Addiction Medicine. from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). Principles of Effective Treatment. from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). How long does drug addiction treatment usually last? from

United Way of Broward County. (2017, June). Drug Abuse Trends In Broward County, Florida Annual Report … from

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