Individuals battling drug addiction problems throughout New York City need look no further than the Flatbush Addiction Treatment Center, run by Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ).
The 200-capacity facility, located at 1463 Flatbush Avenue, services a range of substance abuses and offers a wide variety of treatment strategies for adults, including individual sessions, group sessions, nursing and psychiatric assessments, and a program for individuals charged with driving while intoxicated.
Currently the facility, which is funded by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, treats individuals mostly from Brooklyn and Queens, but will take clients from anywhere.
While they currently just serve adults, they are adding a youth program for individuals as young as 12 with substance abuse issues, or who have a family member with substance abuse issues. The first step to entering one of the programs at the facility is to either call (718) 951-9009, or on Thursdays they offer open access from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
“You’re definitely guaranteed to be seen because all the staff is ready and waiting for someone to come in and assist them,” said clinical director La'Draya Macon.
The specific therapy is client-based. Ideally, it’s an abstinence-based program, but there are some harm reduction techniques employed on patients in conjunction with evidence-based practices.
The center has a computer room, dining area and even places for clients to hang up artwork they make in their art therapy classes.
Every year, they have a graduation luncheon with raffles and games, and bring in old clients to come and share their success stories.
“We also offer a continuing care program,” Macon said. “We know that addiction is a lifetime thing, and that just because you’re here from 6 to 8 months and you’re stopping, you might need some boosters. Clients are more than welcome to come once a month.”
Treating different addictions is a constantly changing endeavor, according to Macon.
“Addiction treatment is changing every day because the drug trends are so crazy,” she explained. “In the early 1980s it was a heroin epidemic, then it was a crack cocaine epidemic, then it was kind of a steady stream of marijuana and alcohol. And right now heroin is the biggest thing again, it came right back.”
She said with this heroin epidemic, they’re seeing younger clients and it’s affecting the upper and middle classes more than minority and lower-class communities.
One method they’re employing to help fight overdose deaths is giving their employees and clients a naloxone kit. The center was certified by the state as an overdose intervention program. Macron said the medicine is literally saving lives in Brooklyn and Queens.
Another plus of the program is its connection to CCBQ’s network of services. Macon said they can connect clients to prevention and mental health programs, housing services and other care right within the network.
“[CCBQ] has so many programs that it gives us the opportunity to refer our clients to so many other services that most places wouldn’t have,” Macon said. “It’s great because we have such an array of services at our fingertips.”
The facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.