How is The Florida Model of Addiction Recovery Different?

The state of Florida is known for having more cases of addiction and more recovery programs than anywhere else in the country. Given that there is such a high concentration of treatment centers in a relatively small geographic area, Florida is known as the recovery capital of the country. There have emerged some very well-known recovery communities, where people first came to Florida to start their recovery journey but then stayed and became Florida residents, in large part due to the welcoming, inclusive, supportive nature of the recovery networks being developed. In the 1980s, an approach referred to as the Florida Model of addiction recovery grew out of this emergence of thriving recovery communities. 

Most recovery programs include counseling, psychotherapy, education, and group sessions, but the Florida Model aims to go further by incorporating holistic healing methods, such as meditation and acupuncture to help people heal from the inside out, augmenting their overall recovery.

Sober Living

A major focal point of the Florida Model is sober living. Partial care programs include off-site housing options and sober houses rather than on-campus housing, making housing distinctly separate from treatment facilities, more comfortable, and more home-like. Living in sober houses helps us to reimagine and redesign our lives and plan for how we will function on a daily basis when out of treatment. We’re given the opportunity to formulate our new routines, habits, and lifestyles, and to make the necessary changes to our current lives with plenty of support, to help bolster our chances for successful, lasting sobriety. With sober living, we learn independence, self-assuredness, healthy coping strategies, and important life skills we can take with us long into our recovery.


Another important emphasis is the transitional structure of treatment. The treatment process is broken down into separate intervals, with the idea being to help people transition between the stages of their recovery more easily and more fluidly. With more support and resources, people can adjust more naturally and more comfortably, allowing them to move through their recovery with more confidence and preparation as they go from residential programs to partial hospitalization, to intensive outpatient programming, followed by outpatient treatment while living in a transitional living facility and arranging plans for aftercare services. People are allowed to transition back into the community slowly and in their own time. They go through the recovery stages at their own pace, with less intensity, so that they don’t feel so rushed and pressured. When we’re able to eliminate this undue pressure from strict timeframes and expectations, many of us are more likely to be able to stay on track with our sobriety.

The Florida Model highly encourages community participation. When we become engaged members of our recovery communities, we have the support, connection, and togetherness that can help us keep ourselves sober. We’re more likely to want to give back, to be productive members of our neighborhoods, to want to help others, and to serve our communities, giving us the fulfillment and connection we need that can be powerful antidotes to relapse.

Riverside Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center located in Tampa FL offering a full continuum of care for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.