• First Step of Sarasota serves 200th patient

    Jack Cox, board president of First Step of Sarasota and president of Halfacre Construction Company

    SARASOTA, Fla. – First Step of Sarasota (www.fsos.org), a nonprofit organization that provides addiction recovery programs in Sarasota, Manatee and Desoto Counties, recently served its 200th patient through its successful sober living program.

    Since 2007, First Step of Sarasota has operated an 18-bed sober living facility to assist individuals in transition. The sober living program provides support for a person in recovery in a safe environment with likeminded people who are making an effort to live a drug-free lifestyle, hold a job and begin a new addiction-free life. The nonprofit is currently assisting 15 individuals through this program.

    “There is a huge need for safe and sober housing for individuals coming out of treatment and reintegrating into society,” said David Beesley, the president and CEO of First Step of Sarasota. “Research has proven that the longer a person is in a sober environment, the greater their chances are for recovery. We’re here to help those people looking to turn their lives around with the much-needed support this program provides.”

    According to an article released by John Hopkins in 2012, housing coupled with day treatment increases the chances of abstinence at six months.

    Relapse rates for people leaving detox, without follow-up services, range from 65 to 80 percent one month after discharge, stated a report by researchers published in the journal Addiction. However, for those who were provided drug-free recovery housing coupled with an intensive day-treatment program may be up to 10 times more likely to remain abstinent than those released from detox with minimal assistance.

    “We look forward to working with Sarasota County leaders in the future to explore options to expand this essential model in Sarasota County,” said Jack Cox, board president of First Step of Sarasota and president of Halfacre Construction Company. “The important work of First Step of Sarasota truly changes lives and helps individuals battling addictions get back on their feet and back into society.”

    First Step of Sarasota plans to explore additional ways to further bolster this effective program during the widespread opioid crisis. For more information, visit www.fsos.org.

    About First Step of Sarasota
    Since 1968, First Step of Sarasota has provided high-quality, affordable substance abuse treatment and prevention programs throughout southwest Florida. Programs include medical detoxification, residential-based treatment and outpatient services for adults. Youth outpatient services are also provided in the nonprofit’s Sarasota outpatient office. For more information, visit www.fsos.org or call 941-366-5333.