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Focusing on Female Community and Recovery in Florida's Tampa Bay

Author: Libby Peck

A women’s-only facility in Tampa, Hyde Park offers evidence-based care for addiction treatment from professionals with extensive experience in the field.

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A women’s-only facility in Tampa, Hyde Park offers evidence-based care for addiction treatment from professionals with extensive experience in the field. Hyde Park has accreditation from The Joint Commission and the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers; its clinical excellence is recognized by experts.

Hyde Park’s Clinical Director Angela Corbett, LSCW, CAP, and Director of Nursing Michelle Jordan, RN, BLS are two of the hardworking professionals raising the bar for the quality of addiction treatment in Florida. Instead of the machine-like environment that most Florida facilities are notorious for, Hyde Park helps its patients feel at peace in a home-like setting for healing.

“We are very familiar with the issues that women present with when they come into treatment.” – Angela Corbett, LSCW, CAP, Clinical Director 

“We want you to be safe, we want you to feel safe [at Hyde Park]. This needs to be your safe house,” says Jordan. Hyde Park is set in a beautiful restored Victorian home within a residential neighborhood just a block from Tampa’s Bayshore waterfront which lends to the comfortable, relaxing environment this facility provides. 

But the patients at Hyde Park don’t just get the feeling of community—they actually become a part of it. The women who recover at Hyde Park get involved with Tampa’s annual breast cancer walks to show comradery with other women, and they also actively participate in local 12-Step-based support groups.  

Integration into a welcoming group of peers provides women in treatment with “feelings of safety and feelings of belongingness,” according to Corbett. She adds that when women “get connected and develop a support network in [the] community,” they’ll meet people who are willing to help with their recovery.

“Addiction is basically one of two things: either we’re trying to suppress something that we don’t want to feel, or we’re trying to obtain a feeling we haven’t been able to naturally.” –Michelle Jordan, RN, BLS, Director of Nursing

As a women’s-only facility, Hyde Park recognizes that women need all the support they can get as they recover from addiction. Jordan explains that, with “women in general, there are a few more obstacles and barriers when it comes to them seeking treatment and reasons for them not to seek treatment” than there are for men. 

Female biology plays a large role in this. “The way [women’s] bodies are set up, we have less water and more fatty tissue. Many of the substances that are abused are often held in that fatty tissue, so […] we don’t filter that through, substances stay in our system longer, and our internal organs are being exposed to these substances longer than men,” Jordan says. 

Corbett adds, “Our physiology is set up that we feel the effects of drugs more. Women […] typically have a shorter period of time between substance use and substance dependence.” This accelerated progression of addiction, known as telescoping, can lead women down an unexpected path from casual use to a full-fledged substance use disorder.  

But barriers to receiving treatment aren’t just physical—they’re psychological, too. The telescoping phenomenon often leads to women being unaware of the progression of their disease. When women realize the extent of their dependence, “They typically have increased social, medical, and legal consequences,” explains Corbett.

“Often times, women use substances for different reasons than men. Women tend to use for mood regulation, and women are at an increased risk of having mood disorders, like depression or anxiety. Women use to help themselves feel better.” – Angela Corbett, LCSW, CAP, Clinical Director

Guilt plays a large part in these psychological barriers to treatment, too—especially if the woman is a caregiver of any kind. Jordan says, “They’re the ones to take care of everyone else, so the guilt comes in dramatically.” Corbett adds, “As a mother, it can be really difficult to make the decision to leave your family to go into an inpatient program.” 

So how can women overcome these barriers and get treatment for a satisfying, sober life? At the urgency of medical professionals. “Research has shown that women are referred to treatment less frequently by their primary care providers than men are,” says Corbett. These primary care providers and other healthcare providers, like therapists or psychiatrists, should be especially attuned to the signs of addiction in female patients. 

Sunspire Health Hyde Park welcomes patient referrals from healthcare professionals so women can recover with top-notch addiction treatment for women in sunny Florida. Jordan gushes, “Coming to an all-women’s facility where [patients] can just totally focus on being a woman has provided great successes.” 

To learn more about how Hyde Park can help your female patients recover, please reach out to the Sunspire Health team at sunspirehealth.com.