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Finding effective addiction treatment

“Of the 23.5 million teenagers and adults addicted to alcohol or drugs, only about 1 in 10 get treatment, which too often fails to keep them drug-free. Many of these programs fail to use proven methods to deal with the factors that underlie addiction and set off relapse.” 
Effective Addiction Treatment, February 4, 2013

“Treatment is not the end, it’s the beginning.”
Picking Addiction Help, February 11, 2013

Finding effective addiction treatment is the first step on the road to a healthy recovery.  At Odyssey House we understand that addiction is a chronic relapsing disease; recovery is an ongoing, lifelong process; and treatment must address both drug abuse and its accompanying problems (e.g., medical, legal, social) to be effective. These are principles Odyssey House has built its programs and services around for more than 45 years.
·         “Look for programs using research-validated techniques.”
A variety of evidence-based practices (EBPs) forms the basis of substance abuse treatment at Odyssey House. Many of these practices – including Seeking Safety, Family Functional Therapy, the Adolescent Reinforcement Approach, Recovery Coaching, Motivational Incentives/Contingency Management, and Nurturing Parenting Program – were initially implemented through grant funding and remain integrated into our programs even after grant funding has ended.
·         “Get a thorough assessment.”
Odyssey House agrees that a proper, thorough assessment is key to understanding which level of care is most appropriate for the individual.  As part of the assessment, admissions counselors determine what other co-occurring mental health, medical, and family issues exist to ascertain an appropriate service match.  Odyssey House employs social workers, psychiatrists and medical doctors to assist with any issues that may be identified during the assessment process. 
·         “Treatment should be individualized.”
We offer specialized residential and outpatient programs for a variety of populations, including mothers with children, seniors, and adolescents. Each individual who enters Odyssey House for treatment receives an individualized treatment plan tailored to fit his or her needs.
·         “You should be treated by a licensed addiction counselor.”
All direct care staff at Odyssey House are licensed and/or credentialed in addiction counseling.
·         “Find out if you will receive therapy for any underlying condition.”
Odyssey House knows that to be effective, treatment must address not only an individual’s drug abuse, but also any accompanying physical, psychological, social, family, and vocational problems. That is why we offer onsite medical and dental clinics, vocational and educational services, housing assistance and aftercare planning to ensure that our clients get the best possible treatment and are equipped to lead productive and fulfilling drug-free lives after they leave our care.
·         “Does the program offer aftercare and follow-up services?”
Odyssey House offers a continuum of care that assists people in recovery as they transition back into the community. Ongoing supportive services, such as housing, employment and legal assistance, begin before a client leaves residential treatment and are continued in outpatient services.
Odyssey House Recovery Oriented Care System (OH ROCS), based at our outpatient clinic in the Bronx, offers individualized, self-directed and integrated recovery support services to those recovering from substance use disorders through community-based peer mentoring and peer-to-peer recovery support and activities.
Additional considerations
·         Addressing legal concerns
Our residents come from all walks of life within our community, including those incarcerated for non-violent crimes directly related to their substance abuse issues. Within the Odyssey House Admissions Department, we have court liaisons who act as advocates for our residents; attend court proceedings to provide support; work with judges, district attorneys and defense attorneys to facilitate the clients’ legal matters and work towards a positive outcome; and assist our clients in identifying available resources for various ancillary legal actions.
We also run the Edgecombe Residential Treatment Program, a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program designed to reduce the risk of re-incarceration. It is a collaborative effort by Odyssey House, NYS Division of Parole, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, and NYS Department of Correctional Services.
·         Housing assistance
We help find permanent, independent housing for formerly homeless men and women with mental and physical disabilities; supervised housing for families re-entering society; and housing assistance for formerly homeless persons enrolled in our programs. All housing programs offer counseling, referral and resident advocacy and are designed to support the Odyssey House dedication to continuity of care and aftercare services.
·         Child care services
At the Odyssey House Family Centers of Excellence, mothers and fathers do not need to choose between caring for their children and seeking the treatment they need. The Family Centers are comprehensive treatmentprograms that provide a safe, supportive residential community for young families where the emphasis is on beginning new drug-free lives and creating a nurturing home. Clients address the problems that have led them to drugs and prevented them from being responsible parents, while their children take part in daycare and preschool programs that help them develop intellectual and social skills.

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