A Milestone in Addiction Science

Poised to open a new treatment center on Southwest 13th Street, the Florida Recovery Center’s medical director has gone down the same road as his patients.

Flaming out from marijuana and cocaine addiction, Dr. Scott Teitelbaum lost his license to practice as a pediatrician in the state of Connecticut, along with his marriage and family. He was fresh out of rehabilitation and working for a lawn maintenance company in the mid-1990s when a new calling suddenly became apparent: advancing the science, treatment and recovery of addiction.

“I lost a lot — addiction took more from my life than anything else, ever,” said Teitelbaum, an associate professor and vice chair of the University of Florida psychiatry department. “My recovery blessed me in ways I never imagined.”

Now the president of the Florida Society of Addiction Medicine, he also is the chief of the Division of Addiction Medicine at UF and has served as a consultant to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, among other roles.

At the new facility scheduled to open in July 2012 at the former Residence Inn near the intersection of 13th Street and Williston Road, Teitelbaum said he seeks to combine the wisdom of his recovery, which made him a disciple of the spiritually-based 12-step movement, with the power of the cut-and-dried facts of his medical training about how the brain works and genetic predispositions. They are two approaches that have sometimes been at odds with one another — but it’s a dichotomy that Teitelbaum said he believes doesn’t need to exist.

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