Mental HealthSophros Recovery: Innovative Approaches to Addiction Recovery

Mental health challenges and addiction plague millions in our world today. People are seeking a beacon of light that illuminates a path toward comprehensive recovery — mind, body, and soul.

Nick Padlo was one of those path seekers. A US Army Veteran and recovering addict, Padlo has founded Sophros Recovery, a treatment center that exists to help people bridge the gap between residential recovery and real life.

“I know what it’s like to be in a dark place and see no way out,” says Padlo. “I also know that it’s possible to find success in recovery.”

With Sophros Recovery, Padlo and his team offer transformative programs and practices that are revolutionizing how individuals transition from the protective cocoon of residential care back into their everyday lives.

The road to personal recovery

Nick Padlo has had an intimate familiarity with the recovery process. A combat veteran who spent 27 months in tours of Afghanistan and Iraq, Padlo had built a successful life as an entrepreneur when the stress of that life caught up with him.

“I found myself struggling with depression and anxiety, but it was something I couldn’t clearly identify at the time,” Padlo shares. The mental health struggles eventually led to addiction — and that is when he knew he had to seek help.

“After my first round of residential treatment and subsequent relapse, I learned that ‘nothing changes if nothing changes,’” Padlo recalls. “I went to rehab and even some 12-step meetings, but I realized nothing had really changed for good.”

It’s a story that many addicts can relate to. While little is known statistically about the average number of relapses while someone is in recovery from substance abuse, it’s clear that recovery is not a simple “point A to point B” journey but is instead a marathon process.

Like many fellow addicts, Padlo experienced a series of relapses before he began making lasting changes. It is only through working in a consistent program that he has found the hope to have sustained change in recovery, one day at a time.

“Even as someone working in treatment, I still have to attend 12-step or SMART meetings, work with my sponsor, and practice mindfulness each day to maintain my sobriety,” Padlo says. “After treatment, I spent three months in Cambodia learning about mindfulness and meditation. Above all else, I learned how to put recovery first.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, Padlo started to figure out how to help others, and the seeds of Sophros Recovery were planted.

Premiere treatment

Padlo knew that for treatment to work, the approach had to be multifaceted. He built Sophros to integrate medical treatment, group and individual therapy, case management, and ongoing support for those who complete the treatment process. “We took the best practices from across the national treatment landscape and implemented them all in a best-in-class outpatient program,” he explains.

Through the research of several evidence-based practices, the Sophros program has emerged as a truly bespoke program that combines the most advantageous parts of partial-hospitalization programs (PHP), intensive outpatient programs (IOP), and a year of ongoing alumni support to help people stay on the road to lasting recovery.

Because addiction can often be a disease that affects the entire family, Sophros also offers support services for family, friends, and loved ones to help them heal themselves and learn how to be the best support for the one who is struggling.

Because Padlo has a deeply rooted connection to the military, he hopes to focus especially on the epidemic of veteran mental health issues and suicides. “When I think about the mental health crisis that we’re going through in America right now, veteran suicides are 50% greater than the risk of the average population. I personally lost two friends in 2021 to suicide already,” Padlo shared with First Coast News, “So, to me, it indicates two things: one, that veterans are struggling with PTSD, with trauma, with substance abuse, and also that we’re not getting help.”

Sophros has been operating out of Jacksonville, FL, since 2021 and is expanding into the Tampa area this year. Padlo is excited about bringing his novel approach to more people in need.

The journey to recovery cannot be a solitary endeavor, as Padlo discovered. Lasting recovery is a collective effort toward real change, and Sophros is more than just a recovery option — it serves as a lifeline for people struggling with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and the substance abuse that often comes with those mental health issues.

Through Sophros, Padlo has made his desire to help people that blossomed from his own struggles into a living, breathing reality. The walls of Sophros now echo with tales of resilience, empowerment, and triumph of the human spirit. Padlo is hopeful that with Sophros’ expansion into Tampa, he can help more people needing direction and catalyze change in the broader community of mental health and addiction recovery.

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Digital Health Buzz!

Digital Health Buzz!

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