How did New York Center for Living, (NYCFL), start?
New York Center for Living was started by a mother looking to find comprehensive, individualized substance abuse treatment for her adolescent daughter. Although New York City is full of treatment centers for addiction and mental health, there is a lack of programs available for adolescents and young adults that provide treatment for both substance abuse and co-occurring disorders simultaneously. The mother searched to find a treatment center that provided a compassionate and safe environment with a demographic that was solely adolescents and young adults.
She realized that her daughter would have a better chance at recovery if she had both a strong clinical team that specialized in dual diagnosis disorders in addition to substance abuse and the added support of peers going through the same journey of sobriety. The mother could not find an outpatient treatment center that met her needs. Thanks to her generosity and passion for getting young people the best treatment possible, NYCFL was born out of a great need for the services that we provide.
What makes NYCFL Unique? How is it different from other drug treatment centers?
Many things make NYCFL unique. The New York Center for Living is licensed under the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, (OASAS), in New York as an 823 (which allows us to treat both substance abuse disorders and dual diagnosis disorders in Adolescents) and as an 824 (which allows us to treat both substance abuse disorders and dual diagnosis disorders in Adults). Our treatment team includes a licensed psychologist with 20 years experience in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, an on-staff on-site Psychiatrist, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselors, a Registered Dietician, a Director of Family Services, an Art Therapist and a Yoga Instructor. Our dynamic and highly qualified staff are not only experts in their fields, but have years of experience with the adolescent and young adult populations. You can be assured that when your child or loved one enrolls in the NYCFL program, they are getting clinicians that have been hand picked for their expertise with this unique age group.
What NYCFL offers, beyond top-of-the-line treatment, is a community and family-based atmosphere in which clients are given support by the staff and by the other clients simultaneously. Our peer support model guarantees that the client will walk into NYCFL for the first time and leave with new peer relationships and friends who understand him/her and are willing to socialize in a healthy, sober way. At New York Center for Living, we believe that a life of sobriety comes when the whole person changes their lifestyle; putting down the drink and the drug is only the first step. Through encouraging sober socialization and with the support of new friendships and our experienced staff, the NYCFL client is better able to make the right changes in his or her life in order to live up to their highest potential.
How do I know if I/My adolescent/Young Adult is an addict or alcoholic?
Please see a list of warning signs (LINK TO WARNING SIGNS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE) to determine if you or your loved one may benefit from treatment at NYCFL. Please keep in mind that one or all of these symptoms may be indicators of a problem. To know for sure, NYCFL offers thorough assessments with our clinical team and psychiatrist.
We do not label our clients as alcoholics or addicts when they come in. As the clients engage in a 12-step program, it is their decision how they want to identify. The clients we see at NYCFL have different ranges of problems with substance abuse. Each client is different and thus the program at NYCFL is highly individualized. We see clients who have a family history of alcoholism/drug addiction and need preventative treatment as well as clients who have failed out of school and using substances on a daily basis. Clients at NYCFL must have a diagnosis of a substance use disorder, but severity of problems are varied in the NYCFL community and treatment plans are determined based on client need.
How long as the treatment process at NYCFL?
The length of treatment at NYCFL varies based on the needs of the individual and family. While the majority of our clients stay between six to twelve months, we encourage families to start with 30 days, and assess ongoing treatment monthly. Clients and their families work closely with their individual therapist to continuously identify treatment goals, assess progress, and modify schedules to meet the individual's specific needs.
What if I/My loved one cannot abstain from drugs/alcohol during their treatment at NYCFL?
The New York Center for Living is an abstinence based program, which means that while we understand that “slips” and “relapses” are part of the recovery process, we intervene quickly when clients either reveal that they have been using drugs/alcohol, or when their urine toxicology reveals drug/alcohol use. When slips or relapses occur, we make every effort to address the issues clinically in order to maintain drug cessation. However, in certain situations, when we determine that a client is unable to maintain abstinence, we may refer the client and his/her family to a higher level of care where their clinical needs are better met.
Do you detox from drugs and alcohol at NYCFL?
While we do not have detoxification services at NYCFL, we can help you navigate the process of finding the right facility for you. We will also work with that program to ensure a safe and easy transition to NYCFL upon discharge.
What is a typical day like at NYCFL?
While everyone's schedule is catered to their specific needs, a typical day at NYCFL begins at 4pm and ends around 7:30. The afternoon is divided into various groups such as Relapse Prevention, Sober Living Skills, DBT, Early Recovery, Yoga, Art Therapy, and 12 step meetings. Between groups, clients have the opportunity to help themselves to a healthy snack in our fully stocked kitchen. Clients and their families also participate in a multi-family group one evening a week and see their primary counselor for individual and family therapy. We also provide various group times throughout the day to accommodate the work and school schedules of our young adult population. Clients who need additional psychiatric care have access to our on-site psychiatrist as needed.
How are Parents/Guardians involved in the treatment process?
Drug and alcohol abuse affects the entire family system in profound ways. Similarly, the family has the power to play a major role in the recovery process. Therefore, we emphasize family participation in the recovery process. Parents/Guardians of adolescents are required to attend weekly multi-family groups with their child as well as parent-only psycho-educational groups. Individual family sessions are also offered as needed. Parents of Young Adults are not required, but very strongly encouraged, to attend multi-family groups, psycho-educational groups and individual sessions. If the Young Adult lives separate from his or her parents/guardian, phone sessions can be arranged and accommodated. We also encourage parents/guardians to seek support through Al-Anon, as it can be an incredible resource outside of the NYCFL community for people who have loved ones struggling with substance abuse. NYCFL hosts an on-site meeting one evening per week.
Do you continue to work with existing therapists/psychiatrists?
Yes, if deemed clinically appropriate. If the client is referred to us by an existing professional, our individual therapists and psychiatrists will communicate and collaborate with them after a release is signed.
What about school, work and extra-curricular activities?
While in our program, adolescent clients must be attending school and will come to NYCFL for treatment in the afternoon. While our program is flexible and individualized, because addiction is a powerful disease we do ask that treatment be the primary focus and obligation. Chances are, if your child comes to NYCFL, he/she is struggling in school and probably not performing up to his/her potential in school and in his/her extracurricular activities. With that said, if a child is engaged in extracurricular activities which are congruent with sobriety, we will do our best to devise a treatment schedule that accommodates those activities.
For Young Adult clients in college or university, we do work around and accommodate school and work schedules, but in many circumstances, the client learns that in order to succeed in recovery, they may need to devote more time to treatment and less to outside obligations.
New York Center for Living has an educational/vocational specialist to help clients with their plans outside of the center. In the educational/vocational groups, clients work with the clinician to create and obtain goals related to work and school. Clients can work on varied goals from time management and study skills, to resume-writing and working on college applications.
Do you take insurance?
Although The New York Center for Living is a private pay facility, many insurance companies may reimburse our clients upon utilization of their out of network benefits. We strongly suggest that potential and current clients of The New York Center for Living check with their respective providers before or upon enrollment. While The New York Center for Living does not guarantee coverage, we are finding that an increasing number of insurance companies are realizing that the treatment at NYCFL is unique. NYCFL is the only Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, (OASAS), 823 licensed facility in New York City, which allows us to treat adolescent co-occurring disorders.
How many hours per week will the client spend at NYCFL?
This depends on whether the client is enrolled in the Adolescent Program or the Young Adult Program and which track he/she is placed in within these programs. We understand that each client is different, thus each will be given a schedule based on his/her treatment needs. A client can spend a maximum of 20 hours at the center per week or a minimum of one-two hours a week at the center.
Are meals eaten at NYCFL?
Once a week we offer an experiential group in which members work with our chef/registered dietician to prepare and eat a well balance dinner while learning about nutrition and healthy living. While we do not serve meals on the other evenings, clients have access to a kitchen stocked with organic, healthy foods that they can help themselves to between and after groups.
Do you drug test?
Yes. We perform random supervised urine screens at least once a week. Also as part of a parents introduction packet NYCFL will give each family free of charge one breathalyzer so that they can test their children at home. Hair and saliva testing may be conducted at times when clinically appropriate.