1 (855) 322-2600

FIRST TIME CALLERS: 1 (813) 384-4000
Frequently Asked Questions and Resources

Q: Do you have a brochure on your programs?

A: For brochures that you can view or download, please click below:
 Opiate Addiction Treatment Services
 Residential Treatment Services
 Women's Services
 Adolescent Services
 Family Focus 

Q: What is addiction? Can it be treated, and is it cost effective?

A: Addiction is a primary, chronic illness influenced by genetic, psychosocial, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Addiction is not a sign of weak morals; it is a disease. Symptoms of addiction include loss of control over drug or alcohol use, cravings, use despite consequences, distortions in thinking, the need to consume greater amounts to get high, and physical dependence and withdrawal. Like many other diseases, substance use disorders are chronic and follow a predictable course. Long-term drug abuse results in changes in the brain that persist long after a person stops using.

The good news is that addiction, like other diseases, can be successfully treated. People all around the world are recovering to live long, healthy, and happy lives! Research shows that active participation in treatment leads to good outcomes and can benefit even the most severely addicted.

The best treatment programs are scientifically based and meet the multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug use. Because no single treatment is appropriate for all individuals, at DACCO we use evidence-based treatment models that combine behavorial therapies and supportive services to treat the entire person, with respect to age, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, and gender. Therapy offers strategies for coping with cravings, avoiding drugs, and dealing with relapse. Medications like antidepressants or mood stabilizers may be critical when a patient has a co-occurring mental disorder such as depression or anxiety. And individual, group, and family therapy, parenting classes, and life skills lessons empower clients to better function in the community and in the home.

Medical detoxification is only the first stage of treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. And, as addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by relapse, a short-term one-time treatment often is not sufficient. Research indicates most individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop drug use. DACCO’s 6-month residential program is designed with this in mind.

Treatment is shown to have a benefit-cost ratio of 7:1, with the largest savings due to reduced cost of crime and increased employer earnings. And with prescription abuse on the rise, an analysis of a methadone detoxification program showed that for every $1 spent on treatment, nearly $5 was saved in health care costs. Treatment can avoid significant financial costs to the public and, most importantly, prevent the devastating physical and psychological costs to families throughout our community.

(Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health & Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Q: What are some of the more dangerous drugs in our community?

A: All drugs have the potential to be dangerous, whether alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs. Alcohol continues to be the most commonly used drug in Hillsborough County and its abuse is a leading cause of car crashes, injury, homicide, suicide, and death. Binge drinking impairs judgment and can also increase risk for unintended sexual activity, vandalism, violence, and poor academic and work performance. According to a 2009 report, there were 20,085 alcohol-related crashes in Florida, and 39% of traffic fatalities were alcohol-related. Drivers age 20-24 who had been drinking had the highest rates of crash involvement and fatal crashes. Hillsborough County is 3rd in the state for the number of alcohol-related fatalities. The county is 4th in alcohol-related crashes, but just a few years ago (2006 and 2007), we led the state with over 1,900 crashes in each of those years.

There has also been a significant increase in local deaths related to prescription drugs like OxyContin. According to data from the county Medical Examiner office, in 2009 an alarming 92% of Hillsborough County drug-related deaths involved at least one prescription drug (up from 81% in 2007).

According to a 2008 national survey, the intentional misuse of prescription drugs is now only second to marijuana as the nation’s most prevalent drug. And 70% of prescription pain relievers used non-medically in our nation came from friends or relatives. So remember to dispose of your old or unnecessary prescriptions properly. And watch the news for upcoming “Take-Back” days, where the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Tampa Police Department, and other agencies partner to collect unused/expired medications.

Q: What services can I find at DACCO? Who do I call for help?

A: While we first work to educate the public and prevent the onset of substance abuse, DACCO provides a range of treatment services for individuals and families in need. We treat substance use disorders in outpatient and residential settings and address co-occurring mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorders. We also offer supportive services to help you stay engaged in treatment, meet all your healthcare needs, and improve your life, including: HIV testing and counseling, adult education/GED, primary healthcare, day care, and affordable housing.

For youth (age 12 and older) and adults needing treatment but able to remain at home, outpatient services (available in Tampa and Brandon) offer a flexible treatment option. For the most intensive care, adult residential treatment is a 6-month gender-specific program offered in a therapeutic community on our campus. Both outpatient and residential programs include different intensities of individual, group, and family counseling; onsite NA/AA meetings; life skills education; and urine drug screening.

To treat dependence on highly addictive opiates (whether heroin or a prescription drug like roxicodone or oxycodone), Medication Assisted Treatment enables a patient to stabilize his or her disorder through medication for as long as necessary to avoid returning to previous patterns of drug use. When ready, the patient begins dose reduction. Treatment includes physician-prescribed and nurse-dispensed methadone or suboxone, counseling, and drug screens.

To schedule an assessment of your needs, please call (813) 384-4000 (press 0 for the operator).

Q: Where can I learn more?

    A: Below is a brief listing of national, state and local websites that provide additional info.:

The National Institute of Drug Abuse

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services
Office of National Drug Control Policy: National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids:

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

SAMHSA's National Helpline:
Call: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Florida Department of Children and Families

The Florida Alcohol and Drug Association

2-1-1 Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
Health Corps

The Florida Alcohol and Drug Association

The Partnership at Drug Free.org

The National Library of Medicine

The National Library Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information’s PREVLINE

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator

Time to Act!

Parents The AntiDrug

Free and Reduced School Lunch Program