Since 1970, Dynamic Youth Community has provided substance abuse treatment for young addicts between the ages of 15 and 23. Its philosophy is that addiction is a family illness, and therefore requires a strong commitment from loved ones as part of treatment. Through a three-year program that starts with residential treatment in upstate New York and continues with outpatient services in Brooklyn, Dynamic Youth Community offers a way to keep kids and their parents both involved in sustained recovery.
Accommodations and Food
Dynamic Youth Community offers residential treatment in Fallsburg, New York, in what used to be known as the Borscht Belt of the Catskills. The facility resembles a big summer camp—situated in rural forests, surrounded by lakes and hiking trails; this location allows residents to be immersed in nature and away from any distractions. DYC is co-ed and houses 86 residents. There are a handful of single, double and quadruple occupancy rooms. Residents have the option of a room or dormitory.
There is a large recreation room on the first floor of the residence with a TV and a plethora of board games as well as two large rooms for group therapy. Outside are a rocky fire pit and a stream running along the property. Cell phones and laptops are not allowed.
The kitchen staff prepares all meals with the help of the residents. Food is served cafeteria style three times a day in the adjoining dining area. Basic food groups are provided with a salad bar at dinner. Certain dietary requests may be accommodated though this must be discussed during intake.
Treatment and Staff
DYC believes that young addicts need to learn how to live life without drinking and using in a realistic long-term setting. DYC is a voluntary one year residential in Fallsburg, followed by one year outpatient and aftercare in Brooklyn.
The facility can provide detox services. DYC allows all mental health related medication as well as support for co-occurring disorders. It provides medication management and currently has one medical director and two registered nurses on premises. Each client is assigned a counselor and meets once a week for a progress session. For group and individual therapy, CBT is the primary modality. Group therapy is three times per week and educational seminars are twice a week.
Residents eat breakfast at 7 am, have time to clean their rooms and then have a house meeting at 9 am. While a treatment technician initially oversees the group, the clients eventually take charge of the meeting themselves. Afterwards, all residents are on a maintenance crew; jobs range from landscaping and carpentry to preparing food and menus for the week. For those who have not completed high school, classes go from 8 am to 2 pm through ReStart Academy, a New York State-certified educational program taught by accredited teachers for at-risk youth. All clients without a high school diploma or GED must attend school on a daily basis; those who do have a diploma still attend some sort of vocational training, such as computer programming.
Dinner is served roughly around 5 pm, after group/seminar, and residents then have structured recreational activities or an additional seminar on all weekdays. Later, snacks are distributed, medications are administered and clients go to bed around 10:30 pm.
DYC does advise clients to attend NA and AA meetings while in the outpatient/aftercare portion of the program.
Residents may not leave the facility at any time without chaperones, and can only make staff-monitored phone calls to family after 30 days. They may have visitors after 30 days at the discretion of the treatment team; visiting is on Saturdays or Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm. Altogether there are six licensed CASACs on staff and six treatment technicians, for a client-to-staff ratio of seven-to-one.
Aside from treatment the campus has a stream for canoeing, an outdoor fire pit, the aforementioned gymnasium with a basketball court and a small exercise room. After six months, residents are able to attend off-campus activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, hiking and swimming in local lakes, depending on the season. Treatment technicians supervise all outings.
DYC is very strict about family participation. Relatives and legal guardians involved with the client must commit to Family Group, which meets every Wednesday night at the DYC outpatient facility in Brooklyn, for the full duration of treatment. Depending on the number of those in all levels of care, there could be as many as 12 families to a group. Parents have the opportunity to share and express their concerns, and can get support from staff and other families.
Overall, Dynamic Youth Community is a voluntary long-term setting that involves considerable family participation in addition to the kids themselves. Residents learn to be of service to their community and their peers, and to be responsible. For young people in search of long-term treatment, DYC could do a solid job of healing them—and their families to boot.
Dynamic Youth Recovery
5803 Route 42
Fallsburg, NY 12733
Dynamic Youth Recovery Cost: Sliding scale. Reach Dynamic Youth Community by phone at (718)-376-7923 or by email at [email protected].
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