WestCare Florida Reviews, Cost, Complaints
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WestCare Florida


WestCare FloridaWestCare Florida Review

The WestCare Foundation is a non-profit that has been dedicated to providing quality health and human services to people in need for over 30 years. To that end, WestCare has become a major provider of comprehensive substance abuse treatment for adults and adolescents all over the country, including Nevada, California and Florida. WestCare Florida operates several residential and outpatient programs across southern and central Florida, serving men and women out of the justice system, self-referrals and adolescents.

Accommodations and Food

WestCare Florida’s residential facilities are EMERGE, a 36 bed facility for men who stay for six to eight months, and WEMERGE, a 72 bed co-ed facility for longer stays of 12 to 18 months. Both occupy almost an entire block in a suburban section of St. Petersburg, Florida, and are attractive two-story structures with tall white pillars and green plantation shutters.

Rooms are shared between four to six clients sleeping on twin beds, with shared dressers and closets. Bathrooms and showers are at the end of the hall. Kitchens, dining rooms, television and therapy rooms are all on the first floors; at WEMERGE, women are also housed on the first floor.

Meals are prepared by clients with staff supervision and served three times a day in the dining room. Food items include meat, starch and vegetables, with a salad bar option at dinner.

Treatment and Staff

The main differences between WEMERGE and EMERGE are length of stay, and that EMERGE clients are predominantly court-ordered men who are just out of prison. This being the case, those at EMERGE have mandatory anger management groups, with avoiding recidivism and community outreach education included in their treatment plans.

Other that the above, treatment is mostly similar. Neither location offers detox, and clients must be abstinent for one week prior to admission. CBT is the primary therapeutic modality, and all residents have a primary counselor who they meet with once per week for individual therapy. Group therapy topics include addiction education, stress reduction, family dynamics and peer pressure. Clients also learn how to set goals and avoid triggers. They are introduced to the 12 steps, practice positive self-talk and take part in gender specific groups when applicable. Those with co-occurring disorders attend groups on anxiety and depression, along with psychiatric sessions for medication management. Monday, Thursday and Friday clients attend off-site 12-step meetings. On Wednesday and Saturday, residents attend an in-house meeting at the facility.

In both programs, clients stay busy from 6 am until 10 pm. Breakfast is at 6:30 with the first group following at 8 am. Free time is from 3 to 5 pm daily, and residents are allowed to watch television and nap should they so choose.

The first half of treatment focuses on adapting to the therapeutic community and learning about addiction and recovery, while the second emphasizes decision-making and relapse prevention. In the final phase, residents are encouraged to look for work and are allowed to go off-site in order to do so.

The treatment team consists of a medical doctor, CSACs, MFTs and counseling assistants. Case managers assist in teaching resume writing and job search skills. The client-to-staff ratio is nine-to-one.


For those in the residential program, Tuesday night is family program. An addiction education class takes place from 7 to 8 pm, followed by free visitation. Families who wish to meet for therapy in addition to these general sessions must arrange time through their loved one’s primary counselor.

WestCare Florida also offers prevention services for adolescents. The Juvenile Outpatient Prevention Program is 24 weeks long and meets twice per week from 4 to 6 pm. Group topics include social skills, improving communication, making positive decisions, coping with depression and anxiety, anger management and addiction studies. MFTs specializing in adolescents and addiction facilitate all groups.

In Summary

While the majority of WestCare Florida’s clients are court-ordered, their programming is relevant to anyone struggling with addiction and the price is right. The cost for residential services is considerably less than other 30-day programs, and Medicaid and most insurance plans are accepted. The WestCare organization is dedicated to making treatment accessible across the board.

WestCare Florida Location

1735 Dr Martin Luther King St
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

WestCare Florida Cost

$1,600 (30 days). Reach WestCare Florida by phone at (305) 573-3784. Find WestCare Florida on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn

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