When Hurricane Sally ripped through the Florida panhandle, it was wet and very scary for many Florida residents. Those who live in the Florida Panhandle region faced real peril in the path of this massive storm, which had been upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane days earlier as the conditions within the storm system worsened. Panama City and Panama City Beach area on the Florida Panhandle. Pensacola was expected to face some of the worst of the storm, but the panhandle faced flooding, loss of electricity, and all the death that goes with these threats from mother nature at her angriest. When I talk about the best drug rehab clinic in Florida and anywhere else, it’s because I know the people and facilities at Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery; they are the best. Nobody left to find safety because many patients had nowhere to go anyway. The dedicated staff at Florida Springs was there for the long hall. If the power went out? Well, there was a plan made for that also. The generator for a building of the size of Florida Springs can be up to 50,000 dollars. Zero profit, zero gain. They looked into 50,000 dollar generators on the off chance that the power went out and a patient might have suffered in some way without electricity. Luckily that problem eventually got solved safely.
Usually in a hurricane, you are either told to evacuate entirely for safety or in certain places, higher ground, farther from the storm, many people will shelter in place safely with supplies to last. At Florida Springs, now surely the best and most dedicated drug rehab in Florida, with no Covid-19 cases mind you, 3 people left the safer confines of home to enter treatment at Florida Springs. I cannot write anymore glowingly about these people who work with patients in Panama City, because everything they did was with the patients’ needs at top of mind. Almost everywhere else you look, substance use disorder patients are ignored, mistreated, turned away for lack of funds. Not in Panama City, at least not at Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center. At methadone clinics all over the country, patients have turned away if their job does not permit them to go to the clinic at 3 am, or 7 pm, no choices are given because opiate use disorder patients are not liked by other diseased people. Abusing their patients’ rights and denying them basic dignity and health services is commonplace. That is why a place like Florida Springs deserves recognition. If you might have diabetes, the doctor will need to sample your blood, you can almost certainly keep your clothing on, and if you ask for privacy, for any reason, that request will be granted. Walk into a methadone clinic, obviously dope sick, and they will ignore you unless you are willing to use the bathroom on camera in front of a room of men and women and another person in the room with you. In the medical field, we call that a barrier to care. A barrier to care is something we need to rid the world of, but drug addicts apparently just aren’t worth the change. Luckily, great people all over the country and including in Panama City want to change this for the better and give patients some dignity back. If you think I am making anything up, ask a friend or family member who has substance use disorder. You may not know about it, but there will be at least one, because millions of people suffer from substance use disorder, and the vast majority of other people may not know how serious the problem is fast becoming.
By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at TACannonWriting@gmail.com)