Several alcohol and drug treatment centers in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties provide medical detox for alcohol or other drugs addictions. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous support groups are also available to provide peer support and guidance.
Several programs and services in the Pensacola area try to steer people with addictions to treatment. Colleges can either treat students for mild mental health problems or refer them to behavioral health providers in the community, and prison-alternative programs help people accused of nonviolent drug offenses end the cycle of recidivism.
Connie Bookman is the CEO of Pathways for Change, a Pensacola treatment program for clients referred by the legal system. “If you have a drug habit and you don’t learn a new way of thinking and tools to be successful when you return, you will go back [to prison],” she told the Pensacola News Journal in 2015.
The Escambia County Adult Drug Court in Pensacola and the Okaloosa County Adult Drug Court in Fort Walton Beach give nonviolent and repeat drug offenders a path away from recidivism by providing resources necessary for recovery. Drug court services typically include mandatory assessments, drug tests, therapy and community service.
The Parent Drug Court program in Escambia County is designed for parents accused of drug-related offenses. The court monitors the client’s progress and compliance with substance abuse treatment programs with the goal of maintaining family unity.
The University of West Florida’s Counseling and Psychological Services provides free short-term counseling and therapy for students affected by substance abuse. It also refers students to long-term care when necessary. In a press release, UWF CAPS Director Dr. Rebecca Kennedy said, “The primary goal of counseling is to help students develop the personal awareness and skills necessary to overcome problems and to develop in ways that will allow them to take advantage of the educational opportunities at the university.”
Students and employees of Pensacola State College who have substance abuse issues can seek counseling and referral services through the school’s Health Clinic or Employee Assistance Program. The school can refer individuals who require long-term treatment to local drug rehab facilities.
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Recovery doesn’t end after treatment, and several organizations and programs in the Pensacola area can help you live a happy and productive life in sobriety.
Sober living environments are safe places to live that are free of temptations and triggers. They provide people in recovery with opportunities to support one another in maintaining sobriety. Sober living homes in Pensacola are available for men and women.
New Beginnings Recovery Homes
Waterfront Rescue Mission
Sober living environments give those in recovery a daily schedule and structure to help them build independence during their transition.
Pursuing an education, learning new skills and finding a job are key components of a life in recovery. You can further your education and work skills through a variety of Escambia County programs.
The George Stone Technical Center in Pensacola offers numerous work skills programs in the business, health, industrial and public service fields. The classes teach students technical, critical thinking, problem solving and general employability skills.
Pensacola State College has adult basic education, GED and ESOL programs to help individuals further their education. The programs help students prepare for the GED test, learn English, expand their resume or prepare to pursue a college degree.
The West Florida Public Library system has five Pensacola locations. It also has one branch in Century, Florida, and one in Molino, Florida. The Molino Branch offers GED courses in partnership with the George Stone Technical Center, and the entire library system offers a Career Online High School program that allows adults ages 19 and older to pursue a high school diploma.
Santa Rosa Adult School has six locations in Milton, Navarre and Gulf Breeze. The school’s Adult Basic Education program teaches educational skills to adults at or below a ninth-grade level, and the GED Preparation class helps adults prepare to take the GED test.
It’s tough to stay sober if you’re surrounded by alcohol or other drugs. Find drug-free activities in the Pensacola area.
Explore the wonders of Pensacola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on a boat cruise from Condor Sailing Adventures or Panhandle Charters and Guide Service. Take a Segway tour from Emerald Coast Tours or learn about the panhandle’s history on a tour through Historic Pensacola Village.
Learn about the Navy’s history by exploring the Naval Air Station Pensacola. See restored aircraft, naval weaponry and take a glimpse into the life of an officer at the National Naval Aviation Museum. Go across the street and visit the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum, or walk the grounds at Fort Barrancas and nearby Fort Pickens.
The panhandle is famous for its white-sand beaches. Popular locations include Perdido Key’s Johnson Beach, Pensacola Beach and Santa Rosa Island beaches. Swim in the ocean, sleep on the sand or walk the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk while shopping or grabbing a bite to eat.
In Escambia County, middle school and high school substance abuse trends were comparable to the state average in 2014. In the past 30 days, alcohol was the most common substance of abuse followed by marijuana and cigarettes, according to the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey.
Prescription drug overdoses are a primary area of concern for the adult population in the Pensacola area. In 2015, 92 people died from benzodiazepine-related overdoses, and 203 people died from prescription painkiller-related overdoses, according to the 2015 Florida Medical Examiners Commission annual report. In comparison, 80 people died from cocaine-related overdoses, and 28 died from heroin-related overdoses.
The Escambia and Santa Rosa County communities support drug-free environments. Several community organizations try to keep drugs off the streets and teach children and adults about the realities of substance abuse.
To combat the area’s prescription drug problem, the Escambia County Sherriff’s Office hosts annual drug take-back events to get unwanted prescription drugs off the street.
“Prescription drug abuse is not uncommon in our society and [drug take-back events are] an opportunity for members of our community to get rid of their unwanted drugs before they fall into the hands of someone who may abuse or misuse them,” Escambia County Sherriff David Morgan told the Pensacola News Journal.
Escambia and Santa Rosa counties joined the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program in January 2016. The nationwide law enforcement program aims to stop violent crimes and drug trafficking. “The initiative provides additional money for increased enforcement and overtime work on drug cases,” John Molchan, assistant state attorney, told the Northwest Florida Daily News.
As the primary resource for drug, alcohol and violence prevention, the Community Drug and Alcohol Council engages Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in proactive drug prevention programs. The council educates parents and teachers in drug abuse and prevention methods through its Savvy Parent Series. It also hosts a variety of teen and youth programs and services for women.
A Will & Way provides services for men, women and children affected by domestic violence, poverty and substance abuse. Woman to Woman and Men Talk are classes for men and women that eliminate the pressure of being judged by the opposite sex. Restored by Grace is a women-only program that offers counseling and teaches self-empowerment.
AMIkids rehabilitates youth who display substance abuse or other troubling behaviors. Children are referred through a court order or a concerned friend or family member. The organization teaches kids to become strong, productive citizens through a variety of educational services.
The Escambia County School District participates in the national Red Ribbon Campaign. In 2016, the district encouraged all staff and students to wear red ribbons to support drug-free lifestyles and to take part in educational prevention activities.
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