Winter Park Recovery Center is a privately managed dual diagnosis facility in Winter Park, Florida offering outpatient treatment. Founded in 2005 as the South Orlando Recovery Center in Lake Mary, Winter Park moved to its new site in 2010. According to founder and president Bob Nies, the recent move has proven ideal, since its much closer to Orlando (and thus closer to potential clients in need of treatment).
Aside from the current location, Winter Park plans to expand to Windermere, Celebration and Brevard County by 2016. Using a non-AA approach, the underlying theme of treatment at Winter Park is the belief that the “traditional system of abstinence and detox as a prerequisite for treatment…may not work effectively for most alcoholics and drug abusers according to the majority of recently published studies.”
Nies considers himself a recovered alcoholic after participating in the Sinclair Method of Extinction, wherein an addict takes a daily dose of Naltrexone and continues to drink with the drug acting as a chemical deterrent. Still, perhaps the most important thing to note about this program that could be misconstrued is that Nies himself is not sober; he now drinks in moderation. Likewise, the program’s philosophy finds it explicitly acceptable to have clients leave still drinking provided that they can also drink in moderation.
Accommodations, Food and Staff
Winter Park boasts a 5,000 square foot facility on the first floor of the Physicians Surgical Care Center in Winter Park. There is a reception area, office manager’s office and three therapy offices, as well as hypnotherapy, acupuncture and massage rooms and a sizable exercise room. No meals are provided at Winter Park, but there is a Whole Foods across the street should clients get hungry in the middle of the day.
Treatment and Staff
According to Nies, AA and its 12-step philosophy is too rigid in its approach to alcoholism, and doesn’t deal with the psychiatric issues that he believes are often at the root of addiction. He thinks that modern technology and psychopharmacology have both made great leaps forward recently, and can be used to offer clients realistic short-term and long-term goals as opposed to hard-line goals of abstinence.
Ultimately, Winter Park’s approach to treatment is wholly pragmatic: Nies believes that AA’s goals are unrealistic and can cause psychological damage to an alcoholic should relapse occur—a strong position likely to be controversial to many potential clients.
Upon intake, residents are evaluated by a psychiatrist and a doctor, so that the length and type of treatment is custom-made to suit their needs. Detox is available, though usually only upon the recommendation of the staff physician with assistance by a nurse.
Treatment at the facility is a combination of CBT, rational-emotive therapy and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). There are over 35 individual treatment procedures ranging from 31 day programs to 60-week long programs; the former 31-day program often caters to court-ordered clientele.
Winter Park focuses on helping clients heal from anxiety, depression and traumas that might have caused them to abuse alcohol and drugs in the first place. It provides both individual and group therapy, with residents participating in a series of five group sessions focused on experiential learning, spirituality, hypnotherapy and self-esteem building in addition to the aforementioned techniques.
Family-focused therapy is provided for family members and clients, so that inter-familial conflicts and difficulties can be identified and resolved in a positive way. Residents are still held responsible for their actions at a level deemed appropriate for their age.
The program’s staff is composed of two doctors, two nurses, seven therapists, an acupuncturist, a hypnotherapist and a spiritualist who assists residents with meditative techniques. There are approximately 60 female and 40 male clients at Winter Park at a time. Clients’ ages range from 20 to 55 years old, with the approximate staff-to-client ratio about one-to-10.
One bonus of Winter Park’s non-AA approach is its slew of alternative therapeutic options. These include acupuncture, massage, nutrition counseling, yoga and Qi Gong. Beyond that, the facility also has a 10-week Naltrexone weight-loss treatment protocol clients can take part in if they wish. Smoking cessation is included at no cost in all of the detox and rehab procedures, and there are even plans to include a salt bed and an oxygen chamber in 2015.
Overall, Winter Park offers an intensive and intimate approach to helping their residents. It seems to be a facility constantly seeking new and innovative ways to fight addiction. Holistic treatment and a well-rounded staff are also added benefits seeking help at Winter Park.
Winter Park Recovery Center
2056 Aloma Ave, #100
Winter Park, FL 32792
Winter Park Recovery Center Cost: $2,500 (30 days). Reach Winter Park Recovery Center by phone at (407) 629-0413. Find Winter Park Recovery Center on Facebook
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