Riverside Recovery: Refuge in Tampa for Those Struggling with Addiction – Tampa WTSP 10 News

Riverside Recovery: Refuge in Tampa for Those Struggling with Addiction – Tampa WTSP 10 News

We were recently featured by Tampa WTSP 10 News to talk about our treatment programs and our experience with substance abuse recovery. Two of our core staff members, Dr. Michael Sore, medical director, and Elizabeth Stockton, marketing director, were interviewed. At Riverside Recovery, our strength lies in the fact that 60% of our staff members are in recovery ourselves. As Elizabeth pointed out, she is among the staff who has successfully recovered from addiction. We have personal, firsthand experience with addiction. We understand addiction and the many effects it can have on a person’s well being – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We have managed to recover successfully and have developed the necessary tools to help other people undertake their own journey of sobriety. We have years of experience not only learning how to recover ourselves but assisting people professionally with their own recovery. We know from our own personal experience what a challenging process recovery can be but how life-altering and fulfilling it is. Life has so much to offer us when we are well enough to take advantage of all its beauty.

The current opioid epidemic has reached dramatic numbers with the current crisis leaving 600,000 people with a heroin abuse problem. According to Dr. Sore, one of the major contributing factors in the drastic rise of numbers of heroin users was a government cap on the opioid prescription pain medications physicians are allowed to prescribe. Many of the people who were once addicted to pills can no longer be prescribed them. In one surprising statistic, Dr. Sore informed us that the United States accounts for 4% of the world’s population but 99% of the world’s hydrocodone use. Millions of those people have now turned to heroin, another opioid, but a much more dangerous drug sold on the streets.

There are some key ways in which both doctors and patients can educate themselves and help put an end to this tragically fatal crisis. When asked how doctors can play a role in decreasing the prevalence of opioid use, Dr. Sore suggested that they can begin to curb the frequency with which they’re prescribing opioid medications that could potentially be addictive for patients. Doctors can also prescribe non-narcotic pain medications or recommend over-the-counter solutions. Similarly, patients and their families can educate themselves more on the potential risk factors and possible signs of addiction, a preventive measure in the ongoing fight against this destructive illness.

With the opioid public health crisis affecting so many people, we might find ourselves personally affected by addiction in our own lives. If you’re concerned about a loved one, there are some clear signs Dr. Sore explained that we can use to pinpoint and identify when someone is possibly falling into addiction. There might be changes in his or her personality. For example, someone who was once attentive and focused might now appear withdrawn and distant. People who were outgoing and social might now be isolating themselves. Addiction takes over our lives in some drastic and obvious ways, so one clear sign to look out for is any kind of behavior that is out of the norm, such as missing work or school. People struggling with addiction might start to default on other responsibilities and obligations. Their appearance might start to change drastically. They might begin to have poor hygiene, stop changing clothes or neglect their self-care. Signs of a developing addiction can mimic the symptoms of many mental health issues. For example, changes in a person’s behavior and personality can also indicate depression. Addiction and mental health issues can also develop simultaneously, in what are called co-occurring disorders.

We are a vital resource for those in Tampa Florida to turn to for support when battling opioid addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling, you don’t have to go it alone.


Riverside Recovery is here to help you get back the life you love. We have the resources and the strong community support system to help you achieve a successful recovery. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, monthly family workshops and daily recovery meetings. Call (800) 871-5440 today for more information.