Tampa Bay, known for its sports teams, beaches, and scenic landscapes; offers many things for those who live here as well as those who choose to attend treatment here. In 2018, the city grew by more than 51,000 people entering it into the Top 10 Metropolitan Areas in Numeric Growth: 2017 to 2018 list. If you live here it can be easy to see why; the metropolis offers an abundance of job opportunities, a low housing market, cultural and contemporary dining experiences, and endless things to do ranging from beaches, theme parks, and professional sporting events.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, what about Tampa, Fl makes it a favorable choice? Whether or not you live in the hillsborough county area, there can be key advantages of attending a drug rehab program in the Tampa Bay area including
- Job opportunities
- Fun Activities
- Tranquil setting with vacation-like environment
- Endless resources
- Large support community for substance abuse
Let’s look at these factors in more detail and why they are important in the recovery process.
The Weather in Tampa is Superb!
Believe it or not, the weather patterns of a particular area can have a direct effect on how a person progresses through treatment. Tampa, Fl is one of the sunniest places in America year round and offers a tropical climate where the mean temperature is 64 degrees. Sounds like that’s the Goldilocks of weather – not too hot, not too cold!
Weather can have a direct relationship on a person’s mood. The lack of sunlight usually associated with winter months has been shown to cause higher rates of depression in areas where sunlight is minimal. This effect is referred to as seasonal affective disorder.
Our Body Needs Vitamin D
There are two reasons for this type of occurrence. The first is that our body needs vitamin D and the only way to really receive vitamin D is through direct sunlight hitting our skin. The reason Vitamin D is so important (especially during recovery) is that it is crucial in many of our bodily functions. Muscles need it to move, for example, nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every body part, and the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Deficiencies in vitamin D have been linked to depression and other mental illnesses.
The vitamin D in foods like fish is so small that it is nearly impossible to receive the recommended daily dose from diet alone. For people who live in areas like the Pacific Northwest where the sun can be limited, it should be advised to take vitamin D supplements. For those of us in Tampa, we can receive it naturally just by walking outside for 10-20 minutes.
Our Brain Actually Needs Natural Light
The second is our perception of natural light. Have you ever had days of consecutive overcast and rain and just feel down? Well, there’s a real scientific reason for that. Even if you were to supplement vitamin D daily, but you were living in an area without sunlight it can have an effect on your mental health. The reason for this is that the lack of natural light can disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may trigger depression.
It can be astonishing how much something like sunlight can affect one’s mood. By putting yourself in an environment where sunlight is abundant you can ensure your body is receiving the proper nutrients and your brain is functioning at its highest capacity. No one wants to feel sad and rundown – especially during times of recovery. This can be the extra edge you need to make it through treatment.
Thankfully Tampa Bay, Fl is sunny year-round so there’s no shortage of natural light or vitamin D!
Educational and Job Opportunities
You might be asking why this has anything to do with addiction treatment, but I can assure you it has everything to do with it! There are three pillars to substance abuse treatment that we at Coalition Recovery value as critical during the recovery process: education, therapy, and purpose.
Education helps individuals understand and learn about their illness to help them become aware of and prevent negative actions in the future. This typically involves educational classes or courses with a licensed mental health counselor, therapist, or psychologist.
The purpose of therapy is to guide someone through their thoughts and feelings to heal a person from within. This typically involves one-on-one therapy sessions with a therapist/psychologist to dive into a person’s mental state of mind and help them through their thought processes to eventually reframe their cognition in a healthier manner. These therapy sessions often help to alleviate the underlying mental health issues associated with substance abuse like stress coping, depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
Last but not least is “purpose.” A purpose is fundamental for long-term success. A good treatment center should help people discover their goals which in turn helps fuel their ambitions. Without goals, people often feel lost, eventually leading to a feeling of unworthiness which then, in turn, leads to a variety of mental health complications. One of the most common ways humans cope with stress and mental illness is through substances. This is why purpose is so very critical in healing the entire person.
Jobs help create a sense of purpose in people’s lives. Without one, life is stressful and uncomfortable. It makes a person feel unworthy and unimportant, but with one, it gives them the ability to be self-reliant and helps them gain the resources to live a happy and fulfilling life. Thankfully Tampa offers a variety of job opportunities in almost every field; from hospitality to construction and even tech. Whatever your passions are there is a job for you in Tampa.
Tampa and St. Petersburg also provide a wealth of schools to pick from – with over 10 four-year-colleges, as well as community colleges and even vocational schooling, whatever your desired career path there’s a program for you.
While these opportunities are convenient, you should find a treatment center that values these resources as well. Aftercare is an aspect of treatment that is typically overlooked, but to a treatment center like Coalition Recovery, it is a pillar of what constitutes long-term success. For this reason, ask the treatment center about their aftercare program and what their case managers do to help set you up for post-treatment success.
A Variety of Fun Activities
Whatever your interests are, Tampa can deliver! Tampa offers a variety of fun things to do ranging from:
- Year-round sporting events (Buccaneers, Rays, Lightning)
- Scenic beaches
- Hiking trails
- Theme parks
- Boating/kayaking excursions
- Top Golf
- City/river trails
- New and innovative restaurants
- Shopping, and more!
No matter your interests or budget, there’s something for you to explore.
Why does this matter in treatment? Well, part of the treatment is discovering the joys of life. By experiencing these fun events with your peers, your overall experience of treatment will be much more enjoyable. Treatment centers in the Tampa and St. Petersburg will differ on how they utilize these excursions. If this is something that interests you just ask which ones they incorporate into their treatment.
A Tranquil Setting with Vacation-Like Environment
I should point out first that treatment is not meant to be a vacation. Your full focus should be on your recovery process first and foremost. So why is this even on the list you ask? Well, it doesn’t hurt that your days consist of beautiful picturesque scenes out of a postcard. As stated earlier, by attending treatment in the Tampa, Fl area, your weather climate is one of the best environments in the nation. Most treatment centers in the area also offer resort-style housing. While these things aren’t necessarily important in your recovery process, having a relaxing and tranquil environment will only make your process easier and enjoyable. If we can eliminate stress and add peace – well then, why not right?
Endless Resources for People in Recovery
We’ve touched on the job and educational resources earlier, but the resources I am talking about are directly related to substance abuse and mental health. Thankfully Hillsborough county is very progressive when it comes to substance abuse treatment. They offer a variety of resources for all walks of life to help them with their recovery experience. These things can include:
- Highly Accessible Group Meetings (AA, NA) – when meetings are just a short drive away it makes it much easier to go. Also, Tampa and St. Pete have almost every kind of group therapy meetings that exist, so finding the exact one you are looking for shouldn’t be a problem.
- Variety of Treatment Centers – if you live in Tampa, chances are there is a treatment center in an accessible location near you. This doesn’t necessarily matter for inpatient treatment, but for outpatient and IOP this can be extremely helpful. Not only are they accessible, but different treatment centers offer different treatment philosophies to help align with your own.
- A Myriad of Therapists, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists – having your pick of the litter when it comes to your therapist is helpful. You will be able to not only find one that your insurance accepts, but one that is close to you and, last but not least, one you feel comfortable with. Some even have specific and contemporary services like TMS and ketamine treatments.
- Holistic Services – services like meditation practices, yoga, and physical therapy are also very readily available. Many treatment services in the Tampa/St. Pete area should provide these within their treatment programs, but in the event they do not or you want to continue them after treatment, these services can be found almost anywhere in Tampa.
A Large and Supporting Community
Tampa is pretty progressive when it comes to substance abuse. Most people in the area view addiction as an illness instead of a moral failure or criminal act. Through this inclusive and supporting community, individuals can carry on through their recovery process with continuing support and admiration for their recovery accomplishments. Because of the abundance of support groups, you’ll be sure to find a social circle to feel comfortable with without the worry of having to protect yourself against triggers or uneasy situations.
What a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Tampa should offer?
This can depend on what type of treatment you need. Depending on the substance you are using and the frequency of use, there are a variety of treatment options available to fit your needs. Some treatment centers like Coalition Recovery offer the full continuum of care from detox, treatment, and outpatient where others may only offer inpatient care. Also, each treatment center is different in how they approach treatment: some could rely on the 12-steps throughout the program, others may focus solely on holistic type therapies, and others (like Coalition Recovery) focus on evidence-based treatments like CBT alongside 12-step and holistic approaches.
When in Doubt…Call and Ask
Call and ask what types of treatment they offer to gain a full awareness of what a typical day and program looks like. Ask them what sets them apart from the rest, what their philosophies are and their core values. For instance, at Coalition Recovery, we value the importance of education, therapy, medication (if necessary), and aftercare.
You can learn a lot about a treatment center by simply calling and inquiring. They should be kind and understanding. For instance, it can be difficult trying to understand who the treatment process works, the complexity of health insurance, and what can be done to help attend treatment while working. The representative should be kind and help you through the entire process with ease and understanding. The process of finding the right center can be tedious and complicated – it is up to the treatment center to make the process a little less stressful.
Hopefully, this helps convince of all the things Tampa Bay has to offer. By narrowing down the location of your rehab program it can make the decision a little easier. Now, all you have to do is find the right treatment center- which might be a little hard because the area offers a variety of them. A good first step is, if you are covered by health insurance, find the treatment provider that accepts your particular insurance. This can narrow down your list and help you attend treatment with little to no cost at all – who wants the added stress finances anyway!
Coalition is Here to Help in Anyway We Can
Our representatives here at Coalition Recovery are available 24 hours a day to help you in any way we can. We understand that our program might not be the right fit for everyone, due to the location, treatment length, insurance, and/or philosophy; but it is our mission to guide you to the best possible place available. Our addiction specialists are experienced with insurance questions and will often be able to guide you in the right direction. If you are holding back for a particular reason (finances, job, family) we can help you through it – there’s always a way!