Recovery at UF&Shands
By Laura Mize
The Florida Recovery Center focuses on pain management and the treatment of substance abuse, eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Though people from all walks of life undergo treatment at FRC, the center is widely known for its physician health programs focused on substance abuse, says Mark Gold, M.D., chair of UF’s department of psychiatry.
FRC “is a national leader in returning physicians back to practice,” he says, noting that 37 states send health-care providers struggling with substance abuse to the center for treatment. The center offers residential treatment programs that can last for several months.
Faculty members from UF’s department of psychiatry, many of whom have double or triple board certifications in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry and other areas, work at the center. Some have previously struggled with substance abuse themselves. The center also employs many specially trained nurses and counselors.
Treatment at FRC focuses on addressing the harm substance abuse creates in both body and sprit, and dealing with health or life issues that may have played a role in the person’s abuse of alcohol or drugs. An active alumni group helps patients maintain their recovery.
“A critical issue of treatment is to help patients develop coping strategies to deal with life’s pain, both physical and emotional,” says Scott Teitelbaum, M.D., the center’s medical director. “Treatment, contrary to what most people think, isn’t just about not doing drugs.”
UF also is nationally known for its two-week clerkship in addiction medicine, which is mandatory for all medical students. Gold says the clerkship is the first of its kind.
“Rather than read about drug abuse, or learn about it in a textbook, (the medical students) get to see it, just like they get to see how to deliver a baby and do it,” he says. “They are encouraged to talk to some of the recovering physicians who are in the treatment program when they’re on their clerkship, so they can kind of see (health-care providers) who are drug-addicted and in treatment for years as a result of that.”
For more information about the Florida Recovery Center, call 352-265-4FRC. — Laura Mize