An institution for over 25 years, The Insight Program provides recovery services for young people between the ages of 13 and 25 in several Southern locations. Combining a 12-step based philosophy with what they term “Enthusiastic Sobriety,” which dictates that young people need their own program of recovery based on positive reinforcement, Insight has facilities in Atlanta, Georgia as well as Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina. The greater Atlanta branch, its main center of operation, offers an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) where residents receive day treatment while staying in nearby housing facilities.
Accommodations and Food
Though its services are designed as outpatient, Insight offers two levels of housing for clients attending the program. The first, “Step One,” is a halfway house for adults 18 years and older. Residents’ stays generally last 90 days, and are required to attend outpatient sessions and regular 12-step meetings. The second option is their “Step Two Recovery Center,” which is an eight-bed facility that offers 24-7 supervision for teens between the ages of 13 and 17. The typical length of stay at Step Two is 45 days.
Both facilities sleep three to a room in twin beds, with genders kept separate. Worth noting is that when the facilities aren’t at maximum capacity, private rooms are sometimes available for no extra cost. While Step One offers a media room with a TV for residents to use during free time, the secondary location only provides board games. Both homes are stocked with grocery-store food, and clients are allowed sugar and caffeine.
Besides its usual outpatient program schedule, residents are also transported to the Insight center for 12-step meetings four times a week.
Neither housing site permits outside electronics. The Step Two house has a phone for emergencies only, and the Step One location has a community phone that residents can use during free time. Visitation is carefully managed, as the Step One house does not allow visitors to enter the facility. Pre-approved guests are allowed to pick up clients on Sundays for a meal out, or a home visit if they return by midnight.
At both houses, residents wake between 8:30 and 9 am and have treatment five days a week, from Monday to Friday. At the Step One location, the day runs from 11 am to 3 pm; at Step Two, it’s from 10 am to 4 pm. Although there is no set lights-out time, residents must wake up at the aforementioned time. Scheduled free time is on Wednesday evenings and during the daytime on Sundays.
Treatment and Staff
Given its multiple locations, Insight has a myriad of recovery programs, which mix outpatient services with halfway house style housing. At all of the locations, the outpatient services tend to follow the same structure with a one-and-a-half-hour group session, one peer based support group and one individual session per week.
The group sessions focus on topics like peer pressure, building self-esteem, trust issues and relapse prevention. There’s also more general fare in keeping with their Enthusiastic Sobriety approach, with subjects like “how to have fun while staying sober.”
In terms of core staff members, Insight primarily employs a team of substance abuse counselors, who have have completed all classroom and practical training hours for national and international counselor certification. The Step One program has two counselors, while the Step Two location has six. A combination of peer counselors and licensed counselors specialists comprise the majority of the staff at both sites, with a nod to making a breakdown of the staff an even mix of genders. Both locations also have around-the-clock counselors available for overnight assistance. There is a psychiatrist on staff and Insight has dual diagnosis care options, though access to this care depends on each client’s intake evaluation. For those who require additional assistance, outside referrals are made to local therapists. There is no medical detox offered at the Insight program.
Insight’s parent and family support group meets once a week on Thursdays; family members are required to attend when a son or daughter is in treatment (though residents do not attend these sessions.)
While Insight does not work modern alternative therapies into its daily treatment program, it does offer a host of recreational activities to provide outlets for the youth that they serve. During free time, residents can enjoy a more informal setting where they are allowed to draw, play music and explore whatever other hobbies might interest them—these can include spur-of-the-moment activities, like relaxing and playing guitar. Further, on Friday and Saturday evenings, clients go on a counselor-accompanied outings; past excursions have included bowling, overnight scavenger hunts and trips to the movies. The teens are encouraged to be creative with their activities—they have even done a localized version of The Amazing Race.
Given the wide ranging swath of programs and longer tenures, Insight’s commitment to providing recovery care for young people is well established. For potential clients in need of a traditional residential recovery experience, Insight’s mix of outpatient and sober living may strike some as lacking in structure, especially with limited access to group and individual therapy. Still, this is a deliberate choice on Insight’s part; it follows their “enthusiastic” orientation in an attempt to better serve the specific needs of young people.
The Insight Program Cost
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