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Cassidy Webb

Agape Behavioral Healthcare Explains How Addiction Affects the Community and How They are Helping People Recover


According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), over 46 million Americans aged 12 and older struggle with addiction, but only 6% get treatment. Since drug overdoses hit an all-time high, surpassing 100,000 deaths in 2021, it is more important than ever before that people struggling with addiction get the help they need and deserve.

Agape Behavioral Healthcare is a local addiction treatment and mental health provider helping residents of Oakland Park and beyond move past their addictions, embrace recovery, and live healthy, fulfilling lives. Stephanie Robilio, Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare, weighs in on how addiction affects the community and how they’re helping people recover.

Stephanie Robilio, Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare

The Effects of Addiction on the Community and Beyond

Addiction is a devastating disease that affects the way people think, feel, and behave. Many people cannot beat addiction on their own – they require professional treatment. But before they get treatment, their addiction can have devastating effects on the community.

Over the last 20 years, the opioid epidemic has shifted from prescription drugs to heroin and from heroin to fentanyl. Stephanie explains that fentanyl has dramatically shifted the way addiction affects South Florida communities.

She explains that “several years ago, there were people who recovered and remained abstinent, people who couldn’t figure recovery out, and also people who got some clean time, relapsed, and were able to ‘function’ in a so-called gray area. But today there is no gray area. The person is going to recover or they could die… It’s no longer safe to touch any drugs at all”.

Today it is not uncommon to people batting addiction in any number of places. It is out in the community and it is a scary sight.  Stephanie explains that “it can be a nice, sunny day, and while getting gas at the gas station, you can look to your left and see someone falling out, overdosing, or being treated by an ambulance”.

Overdoses happen every day in Oakland Park, but the growing problem does not mean there is no hope. Stephanie says “we believe people do get better. You can heal. You can recover”.

An Evidence-Based, Boutique-Style Treatment Experience

In response to the fentanyl crisis, Stephanie explains that clients and staff alike are stepping up, taking addiction and recovery more seriously than ever. She says, “they are treating it as life or death, which it is. People are shaken up – from medical providers to behavioral health technicians. Today we know we have a massive responsibility to provide excellent care.”

Agape Behavioral Health takes its work seriously, offering a boutique-style treatment experience. From pre-admission through the treatment process and even post-discharge, each guest receives individualized care and services specifically designed to treat their unique needs

Agape Behavioral Health was founded by inspiring leader George Mavrookas who often expresses his commitment to taking care of his people so they can take care of other people. George has dedicated his working life to building beautiful facilities and a team of the best humans, so people have a safe place to receive top-tier treatment with clinical and medical experts.

Clients Heal Themselves By Helping Others

In addition to facilitating effective, personalized treatments, Agape Behavioral Health believes it is true that when you help others, you heal yourself. Stephanie explains, “We know the act of service is healing… Every time we help someone, we heal ourselves deeper”.

People in recovery view service work as an important part of staying sober. Step into any 12-Step meeting and you’ll be met with volunteers greeting guests at the door, making coffee, setting up, and more. Stephanie says “it is really easy to get lost in your mind, and when you’re lost in your own mind you get consumed by your problems, but you aren’t the only thing to exist. Service allows you to get beyond yourself and give to others in need”.

Agape offers clients a unique way to do service by helping children in foster care through a local church. Clients have the option of going to the church to cook, bake cakes, and prepare meals for children in foster care. Many of their clients were once in foster care or came from broken families themselves, and being able to give back is a way to see just how far they’ve come.

The foster children, on the other hand, benefit from this service work, as well. Having volunteers prepare food and treats makes them feel seen and heard. It makes the children understand that they are important, they matter, and their needs matter.

Find Addiction Help for Yourself or a Loved One

Many of Agape’s clients say Agape feels like home. They’ve been thanked endlessly by individuals and their families for the care they’ve received and for the ability to reclaim their lives.

If you or someone you love are struggling with addiction, Agape’s admissions line (844-616-0062) is open 24-7, and a dedicated admissions specialist can help you find the help you need.


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