The first facility of its kind in New York State, The Next Step has been treating women with chemical dependency in Albany since 1975. This unique, economically priced program—which is offered as an alternative to incarceration—empowers its clients to begin and sustain the life long process of recovery. The emphasis here is on individualized programming, which addresses addiction as a primary, chromic, and progressive disease affecting the body, mind and spirit.
Accommodations and Food
Located in a stately home on the edge of Lincoln Park and about a mile from the Hudson River, The Next Step provides residential treatment for up to 20 women, ages 18 and older. There are nine double rooms in the house and two singles. The single rooms are available to those women with seniority in the program. Everyone sleeps in a twin bed and bathrooms are shared, as is the housework (everyone all does their own laundry). An exercise room (with a treadmill and stationary bike) is made available to the women and TV watching is allowed in the living room during sporadic free times throughout the week. Cell phones and computers are not allowed.
The staff plans the menu for the week, assigning a revolving group of clients to cook and clean. All residents eat together in the dining room.
Treatment and Staff
Residents participate in nine to 15 months of intensive, disciplined and self-help oriented treatment. The residential program receives referrals from other rehabilitation centers, both short- and long-term, outpatient clinics, county agencies and the court system. Women must be in good physical health and mentally able to participate in program activities. Clients are initially evaluated and those who present with co-occurring disorders may be referred to another facility if the The Next Step staff agrees that treatment is beyond the scope of their program. The foundation here is 12-step in ideology—meetings, group therapy, being of service and taking responsibility for oneself are the cornerstones of recovery here. Clients go to off-site AA meetings, but no transportation is provided. In addition, The Next Step offers one individual session a week and classes on relapse prevention and addiction. There is also an art therapy group at the house and an off-site movement therapy component.
A typical day means waking up at 6:30 am for a 7:30 breakfast followed by group therapy and classes all morning with lunch at noon. After lunch are more classes and therapy plus exercise, as is the schedule with most rehabs in this price range. Dinner is at 6:30 pm followed by AA and then quiet time from 8 pm and on until lights out at 11 pm.
The 12 staff members at The Next Step are a mix of certified peer counselors and highly credentialed therapists. There is no MD on staff so there is no detox and dual diagnosis support is only available through mental health services professionals from the Albany Medical Center.
Family programming is determined on a per client basis, wherein family may visit and day passes home are available after the fist 90 days in treatment.
The Next Step is a solid, extended stay program for women who don’t have a lot of other options and are looking to maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol in the Albany area. Clients learn to take responsibility for themselves and accept life on life’s terms, though there is no support for the dually diagnosed, which is a growing sub-population in the chemically dependent community. Those who have co-occurring disorders should probably look elsewhere.
The Next Step Inc.
2 Holland Ave
Albany, NY 12209
The Next Step Cost: $2,550 (30 days). Reach The Next Step by phone at (518) 465-5249. Find The Next Step on Facebook
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