The Florida Model Of Addiction Treatment: What Is It?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on September 2, 2022

The Florida model of addiction treatment offers a continuum of care for people with drug or alcohol addiction. While this model has been the subject of some scrutiny, elements of this model can be useful for promoting long-term addiction recovery.

What Is Florida's Model Of Addiction Treatment?

The Florida model of addiction treatment emphasizes the role of long-term residential care and recovery support across a continuum of care. It was founded in the 1980s by Sid Goodman.

This long-term, holistic treatment model is a blend of medical, behavioral health, and social services that incorporates both clinical care and treatment in a “real-world” setting.

What Does The Florida Model Of Addiction Treatment Offer?

The Florida model of addiction treatment sees value in providing addiction treatment in a setting that is comfortable, more like “the real world,” as opposed to a clinical, institutional setting.

This model offers treatment across multiple levels of care, from detoxification (detox) to residential treatment, to intensive outpatient treatment that you might find in a standard IOP.

A treatment plan for addiction under this model may involve:

  • individual counseling
  • group therapy
  • 12-step facilitation
  • clinical care
  • experiential therapies (e.g. art therapy)

Treatment services will take place in a clinical facility nearby the client’s living quarters, such as an inpatient facility (if needed) or nearby in a sober home.

The goals of the Florida model are to:

  • promote long-term recovery
  • help clients become self-sufficient
  • teach life skills and recovery skills in a “real world” environment
  • help clients ease back into a daily routine

What Makes The Florida Model Different From Traditional Rehab?

Traditional rehab typically lasts 28 to 30 days and occurs in a clinical setting, such as a drug rehab facility, which essentially cuts a person off from the rest of the world.

The Florida model, on the other hand, emphasizes delivering treatment in an environment that replicates the real world that a person will be returning to following the completion of rehab.

Under this model, clients attend treatment but also re-enter a normal daily routine — completing household chores, making meals, shopping, and fulfilling other daily tasks.

Is The Florida Model Of Addiction Treatment Effective?

The Florida model of addiction treatment can be effective for some. The treatment approach that works for one person won’t always be the best fit for another person.

This model may be helpful for a person who is medically stable and who has struggled before to overcome substance abuse through a more traditional rehab program.

This treatment model can offer:

  • more flexibility
  • transitional support (i.e. transitioning from inpatient rehab back home)
  • space to apply recovery skills in a real-world setting
  • long-term residential care and support in a sober living community

Are There Drawbacks Of The Florida Model?

The Florida model has been the subject of some scrutiny. This is due to the fact that some sober living homes, particularly in South Florida, have been found to engage in predatory practices.

In 2017, NBC News found that some sober homes in Florida would exploit clients, sometimes billing their insurance companies thousands of dollars, without providing evidence-based substance abuse treatment.

This isn’t true of all sober living homes or addiction treatment centers in Florida, however. Many do serve to offer transitional care and treatment to help people on their journey to recovery.

What To Look For In A Drug Treatment Program

When it comes to finding an addiction treatment model or treatment facility that’s right for you or a loved one, there are several “green flags” that you can keep an eye out for in your search.

Signs of a quality drug addiction rehab center include:

  • has licensing and accreditation (e.g. CARF accredited)
  • has positive reviews
  • offers evidence-based treatments (e.g. medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction)
  • offers dual diagnosis/treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • has both behavioral health and medical treatment providers on staff

Find Drug Or Alcohol Addiction Treatment Today

If you’re looking for a high-quality treatment program for yourself or a loved one with a substance use disorder, one of our specialists may be able to help.

Call our helpline today to learn more about effective treatment options for substance abuse and addiction, or how to find a drug rehab program near you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on September 2, 2022

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