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U.S. Rep. Murphy secures $400,000 appropriation for AdventHealth’s opioid treatment center

Sheriff Dennis Lemma, Rep. Stephanie Murphy and Tim Cook at Hope and Healing Center in Sanford

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AdventHealth, Rep. Stephanie Murphy announce funding for Hope & Healing Center

New funding ensures the Hope & Healing Center, a partnership between AdventHealth and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, will be able to continue treating residents who struggle with opioid addiction.

Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy on Monday announced a $400,000 federal appropriation for AdventHealth’s Hope & Healing Center, ensuring that Seminole County residents can continue to access transformative treatment for opioid addiction.

The Hope & Healing Center opened in 2021 as a partnership between the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County EMS/Fire Rescue, the Board of County Commissioners and AdventHealth to address the opioid crisis through a holistic, compassionate approach.

“In the last dozen years, over half a million Americans have died as a result of opioid overdoses and countless others have had their lives destroyed,” Murphy said. “And we should never lose sight that behind every abstract statistic about opioid addiction, there’s a very real and a very personal tragedy. It’s a shattered human life, it’s a brokenhearted family and there’s a distraught community and spiritually and economically diminished nation.”

With the help of local, state and now federal funding, the Hope & Healing Center offers a 30-day inpatient program as well as intensive outpatient treatment, including individual and group counseling, substance-related and recovery-focused education, reflection and spiritual healing groups, and career and housing assistance. This latest funding will enable AdventHealth to continue offering treatment to anyone who needs it, regardless of socioeconomic status or if they have insurance.

“We don’t turn people away,” Tim Cook, AdventHealth Seminole County CEO, said at a news conference Monday morning.

Cook added: “The people who come here come from multiple different places in their life. Most of them would come potentially after an overdose or a near overdose and show up in our emergency department. But then where do they go? Maybe back home to the same neighborhood, same environment. Here, now they have a bridge where they can take a pause, get some support, therapy, treatment and then re-enter their lives from a different perspective.”

Since the Center opened it has served about 180 people, and already the Seminole County community has seen a decline in opioid overdoses and deaths.

“As we’re seeing numbers rise across the country and state of Florida, we’re starting to see promising results here in Seminole County. We have had a 25% decrease in overdoses and 39% decrease in overdose deaths,” Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said. “One life less than what you had last year is progress, but we never anticipated we’d see these kinds of results.”

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