Addiction recovery in Orlando, Florida has been placed in the spotlight thanks to a campaign launched by the Student Health Services at the University of Florida Central Florida (UCF).
UCF’s Student Health Services provides physical and mental health options to students while focusing on prevention, addiction treatment and recovery.
The Student Health Services prevention services include interactive workshops in fraternities and sororities. All students are also offered drug use screenings every semester. Interventions and feedback are offered to students who struggle with substance abuse.
Some of the substance abuse treatment options include behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment and relapse prevention therapy.
The Collegiate Recovery Community at UCF offers several services to students trying to overcome substance use disorders, including recovery coaching, substance abuse counseling and local addiction support meetings.
Some other registered organizations available to help students struggling with alcohol use disorders include the University Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol, and Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning Health of University Students.
The UCF Employee Assistance Program is specifically intended to help workers deal with personal issues that could affect job performance, which could include drug or alcohol abuse.
Along with addiction recovery services, UCF has implemented events to inform students about substance abuse.
UCF also has groups that host events on campus for people who don’t want to drink alcohol. One of those groups is SoberKnights.
SoberKnights has weekly meetings on Thursdays for people who want to create relationships without alcohol. Another group, named thePoint, hosts sober parties with different themes on Friday nights to give students an alternative to drinking.
The university also hosts Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. Students who get a DUI can attend AA meetings and gain assistance for alcohol addiction.
UCF Cares is an umbrella of programs that focus on the wellbeing of students. This puts a focus on violence prevention, mental health and diversity. UCF Cares held a ‘week of action’ toward the end of October to connect students with any resource or program they might need.
Along with SoberKnights, AA and NA, the support meetings on campus include Al-Anon Family Groups, Overeaters Anonymous and Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous.
Al-Anon provides support to the friends and family of people who have been impacted by alcohol addiction.
Some former students who have received assistance from UCF have come back to help current students in need. One former student who has been sober for years returned to start UCF’s Recovery Program. He also established a setup that allows students in recovery to have assistance paying for services and books for their classes.
The university has focused on creating more solutions to the drug abuse problem to stop it before it causes irreparable harm.
UCF was given a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop an electronic device that could help first responders detect traces of fentanyl when a person has overdosed.
Orlando reported 56 drug-related deaths involving fentanyl, 39 heroin-related deaths and 115 cocaine-related deaths from January to June 2017, according to the 2017 Medical Examiners Commission Interim Report.
The university added a new curriculum for medical students that focuses on opioid abuse and pain management. The course educates the students on the effects of the opioid crisis and how to counteract overdoses.