Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 12/17/2020

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at North Tampa Behavioral Health Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at North Tampa Behavioral Health Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Medical Marijuana Legalized in Florida

On November 8, 2016, Florida residents were asked to vote in favor of, or in opposition to, legalizing medical marijuana. While some may argue that it was a controversial addition to the ballot, the results concluded that Floridians are in favor of the use of medical marijuana. The result of this vote was decisive, with 71.3 percent voting “yes,” leaving no room for questioning or demands of a recount.

In Florida, the state law requires that a minimum of 60 percent of voters must be in favor of a ballot initiative in order for it to pass. As such, when the initiative was proposed two years ago and only 57 percent of residents voted in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana, it was left just shy of becoming law.

As this election has reversed that outcome, doctors in Florida will now be able to lawfully prescribe cannabis for various debilitating medical conditions. In 2014, when the initiative failed to pass, Matt Ferner, National Reporter for The Huntington Post, stated that such conditions include “cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ‘other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.’”

Potential Increase in Use of Medical Marijuana for Psychological Disorders

Despite the passing of this law, it is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of cannabis for treating medical conditions. Amy E. Thompson, MD, reported that there have not been enough comprehensive studies of marijuana to provide evidence that it is a safe and effective drug. That being said, studies regarding the use of cannabis for medical purposes is ongoing.

Historically, the concept of implementing the use of marijuana as a medicine has been primarily applied to treating physical concerns. However, emerging research is showing the potential that it has for treating psychiatric disorders. It has been reported that marijuana was used to treat symptoms of depression as far back as 400 years ago, yet the positives and negatives surrounding the actuality of doing so is inconclusive. While some people have stated that it alleviates symptoms of both anxiety and depression, the effects of consuming marijuana can also elicit symptoms of both, as well as initiate the onset of psychosis.

The fact of the matter is that the consumption of any type of substance will affect each person differently. So while it may be true that an individual experiences alleviation of depressive symptoms after consuming marijuana, another person may be just as likely to suffer adverse effects. For this reason, if and when it is prescribed to treat a medical condition – either physical or psychological – the individual to whom it is prescribed must be consistently monitored to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the substance.

Moving Forward

Leading up to the November 8 election, The Editorial Board for The New York Times reported that, if Florida residents vote in favor of the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, it could open the door for other states in the south to reconsider their ban of the substance, ultimately liberalizing drug laws.

As this law goes into effect, treatment centers in Wesley Chapel, Tampa, Pasco County, and throughout the rest of the state must be aware of the possible detriments that can arise as the prescribing of medical marijuana becomes more prevalent. Unfortunately, even though the purpose behind it is for a good cause, there is always the potential for negative outcomes to occur. In addition to some individuals experiencing undesirable side effects, marijuana also has the potential to cause an individual to become addicted to it. Furthermore, those who are prescribed marijuana for medical purposes may see it as an opportunity to make money by selling it to individuals who do not have a medical need for it. By remaining one step ahead of the community at large, treatment centers can be prepared to provide care when it is needed.

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North Tampa Behavioral Health was the only treatment near me that was able to help me make the breakthrough I needed. I can't recommend them enough!

– Diana F.
Marks of Quality Care
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
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  • Florida Department of Children and Families
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation

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