AdventHealth, Seminole County open doors of innovative treatment center for opioid addiction

March 8, 2021 — In Seminole County, hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, an innovative treatment center is now offering a path out of addiction for patients struggling with substance abuse.

The Hope & Healing Center, located in Sanford, is part of a partnership between AdventHealth, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County EMS/Fire Rescue, the Board of County Commissioners and Wal-Mart. Launched in 2019, the partnership is intended to transform the way people struggling with opioid addiction are treated by the health care and criminal justice systems.

“This first-of-its-kind partnership is a unique opportunity for law enforcement and health care to address one of our state’s most pressing issues,” said Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma. “We realized we needed an innovative, holistic approach to address this crisis, which is affecting so many of our neighbors.”

Like much of the country, Seminole County has seen the opioid crisis exacerbated over the past year by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Sheriff’s Office, overdoses countywide increased by more than 50 percent from 2019 to 2020, growing from an average of 39 to 62 per month.

The Hope & Healing Center is currently offering intensive outpatient services, including individual and group counseling; substance-related and recovery-focused education; reflection and spiritual healing groups; and career assistance.

It is also housing 10 inpatient residents. Eventually the facility will be able to house 26 residents at a time for 30-day treatment programs. Patients will be also supported with services that address their educational, vocational, behavioral and housing needs upon discharge from the center.

“We are transforming how we view and treat people with substance-use disorders,” said Tim Cook, CEO of AdventHealth Altamonte Springs. “We need to see the whole person, not just the addiction. By providing a comprehensive network of services and support, our goal is to break the cycle of addiction and set our patients on the path to recovery and long-term success.”

In addition to the center, the partnership includes special training and education by the Sheriff’s Office for ER staff at AdventHealth Altamonte Springs, and dedicated substance abuse coordinators to navigate care for patients during and after their time in the hospital.

The Hope & Healing Center is funded in part by $750,000 in grants from Wal-Mart.

“Wal-Mart is committed to fighting the opioid epidemic, here in Seminole County and around the country,” said Monesia Brown, director of public affairs and government relations for Wal-Mart. “We are proud to work with our community partners and support this innovative approach.”