As a part of American Addiction Centers, The Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida offers 12-step-based dual diagnosis treatment for adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17. In fitting with its location, it follows the “Florida Model” of recovery, meaning clients go to treatment during the day and to a secured home at night where they are supervised through the following morning.
Accommodations and Food
In a tropical environs shaded by palms, The Academy scores high when it comes to housing. All living arrangements include sun-soaked bedrooms with wooden floors and tasteful decorations. The rooms are large with two twin beds, an en-suite bathroom, bedside tables and a dresser for each resident.
The Academy has a nutritionist on staff who approves the daily menus prepared by the on-site chef. Their kitchen staff provides three meals a day and caters to vegetarian, gluten-free and other special diets. Fruit and green salads are available with every meal, along with healthy snacks throughout the day.
Treatment and Staff
Believing that one of the most difficult aspects of adolescent recovery is the idea that they can never use substances again, The Academy adheres closely to the 12 steps, particularly the “One Day at a Time” philosophy. The Academy does offer a medical detox on-site with a medical doctor on staff, as well as a team of counselors and therapists. Clients are assigned individual therapists and case managers with whom they begin to develop ongoing treatment plans, working toward discharge planning; typical stays can last anywhere between 30 and 90 days. The Academy works to provide an education plan as well so that residents maintain their studies.
Typically, a resident and their parents bring enough assignments for a month to keep current during their stay; if their stay extends beyond a month, The Academy works to keep clients current by contacting their school when necessary. There are hours set aside each day for residents to do schoolwork, and there’s also an option to take part in K-12, a trusted online schooling program that works with schools, retrieves transcripts and pairs students with online-certified teachers. There are also GED and AP help sessions available.
The rest of any given day is spent in individual and group therapy and 12-step meetings. There are specific times dedicated to trauma relief. The Academy also offers equine therapy and a wellness program, which takes advantage of the state-of-the-art on-site gym. The gym is better-equipped than most, with plenty of treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing equipment and weights.
Much of The Academy’s recreational activities are determined by a client’s level of compliance with its character-building policy. Initially, residents cannot participate in any extracurricular activities until they have read the Academy handbook and have been on-site for 72 hours. They also can only make a 10-minute phone call every Saturday. From there, things become more open. Level One clients can go on one outing a weekend. Those at Level Two can go on two outings a weekend, and at Level Three, residents can assist staff, go on three excursions and even lead hall and community meetings.
The Academy’s partnership with American Addiction Centers also has its advantages. In the event of a relapse at any time post-treatment, the company provides alumni with up to an additional 30 consecutive days of treatment at one of its facilities at no additional cost. There are, of course, stipulations; clients need to have completed 90 days of the program during their initial stay and can only use this offer once—it’s also important to note that this is a policy of American Addiction Centers, not a reflection on The Academy’s promise of service.
In many ways, The Academy mirrors many other adolescent facilities offering dual diagnosis, 12-step based care and a reward-based character building system. Still, the tropical location and nicely decorated facilities definitely help The Academy avoid the more institutional vibe often found at youth facilities. There are also programs in place to keep residents abreast of their studies, while promising individualized treatment in a comfortable environment.
4400 N. Congress Ave
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
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