Coney Island Hospital, part of New York City’s public health care network, has been serving residents in southern Brooklyn since the late 19th century, establishing a reputation for clinical excellence and culturally sensitive care. In 1981, it began providing outpatient services for adults struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. In addition, there is a detox unit for individuals going through withdrawal.
Accommodations and Food
Coney Island Hospital offers residential detox for individuals suffering moderate to acute withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and opiates. The 15-bed coed unit is located on the fourth floor of the hospital and the setting is typical for an acute care facility. There are seven double occupancy rooms and one single room, each with a full bathroom attached. Each resident has a twin bed with a nightstand and a shared closet. The unit has a TV room and a small kitchen area for snacks. Meals are served three times a day and brought to the unit from the hospital cafeteria.
There are no cell phones, laptops, smoking, sharp objects or visits allowed while in detox, and phone calls can only be made at the staff’s discretion.
Treatment and Staff
Clients who start their treatment in the detox unit generally remain for no longer than seven days. This is a full medical detox; nursing staff is on the floor 24/7 and a physician prescribes all medication. Suboxone is used for withdrawal from opiates and methadone and Librium is used for alcohol detoxification. While the residents do not leave the facility, there is an outside 12-step panel that holds a meeting on the unit one night a week. Residents are assigned a caseworker and, upon discharge, are referred to outpatient services for follow up.
The outpatient program at Coney Island Hospital offers substance abuse treatment for adult men and women ages 18 and up. Services are located on the fourth floor of the hospital and they are available five days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 5 pm on Friday and 8 am to 4 pm on Saturday. For those clients who are not coming directly from detox, an assessment by a licensed substance abuse counselor (CASAC) is required.
The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) lasts from 12 to 16 weeks and meets four times a week, for a total of eight hours. IOP clients meet with their individual counselors once a week for therapy for the duration of the program. The majority of the time is spent in group therapy. Group size is anywhere from six to 20 clients and topics range from stress management, coping skills, CBT, relapse prevention, addiction studies and family dynamics. In addition, clients with co-occurring disorders meet with an individual counselor once a week and a psychiatrist once a month.
The regular outpatient program lasts anywhere from eight to 12 weeks and clients meet twice a week for two-hour group therapy sessions. Outpatient clients meet with their individual counselors once a week for the first four weeks and then once every other week. While 12-step meetings are not mandated in either program, Coney Island Hospital does encourage clients to attend AA and NA meetings.
Southern Brooklyn has long been a Mecca for immigrants and the hospital’s staff is as diverse as the patients they serve; emergency interpreter services can be provided at any time of the day or night in over 130 languages.
Coney Island Hospital offers comprehensive detox services and, with its dual diagnosis support, better than basic outpatient treatment for adults struggling with addiction. This could be a good choice for people who have a stable and sober living environment to get clean and start recovery. The multilingual staff could also make it an option for underserved populations.
Coney Island Hospital
2601 Ocean Pkwy
Brooklyn, NY 11235
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