Seminole County Sheriff requests funding for drug rehab facility expansion

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma says he wants to expand the county’s Hope and Healing program.


The private-public partnership between the county and AdventHealth offers treatment for adults in the community who suffer from substance abuse disorders.

Lemma says they’ve outgrown the current facility, located directly across from the Seminole County Jail.

READ: List of new Florida laws that take effect starting January 1, 2024

So far, they’ve treated 500 individuals there, but Lemma says the facility only has 10 beds and is available only to men.

The new facility proposed by Sheriff Lemma would be located in Altamonte Springs on State Road 436, just across the street from AdventHealth. It would feature dorms for up to 30 individuals and would treat men and women for opioid addiction.

READ: Citizen complaints lead deputies to large drug distribution operation at Umatilla home

“We recently went before the Board of County Commissioners to ask for the additional $9-million to expand the footprint that we have with substance use disorder,” Lemma explained.

That $9-million would come from American Rescue Act funds and would be used to renovate the building.

READ: Leesburg police searching for teen suspect in fatal shooting

Lemma is also asking the commissioners to allocate nearly $31-million dollars that Seminole County is expected to receive from a massive settlement from large pharmaceutical companies to fund the center for years to come.

“I think the spirit and intent for what that money was reserved for was to treat those underlying conditions that we know Big Pharma played a big part in,” Lemma said. “I think it is absolutely what the money was intended for.”

County commissioners are set to hold a vote on whether to approve the funding next month.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.