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PDAP McAllen


The Basics

PDAP McAllen is a community substance abuse treatment organization in McAllen, Texas. PDAP McAllen is an independent branch of a larger organization called the Palmer Drug Abuse Program. The PDAP model was based on a treatment model developed at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston in 1971. Created by a priest and a recovering addict to help teens using a modified version of the 12 steps, the program has expanded to include adults and the parents of those struggling with addiction.

Over the years, PDAP has opened offices in several Texas cities, as well as in California, New Mexico and Oklahoma. In September of 1988, a group of concerned citizens in Hidalgo County formed PDAP McAllen. Today, PDAP McAllen offers free outpatient addiction counseling services, peer support groups and a meeting place for fun sober activities.

Treatment and Staff

PDAP McAllen primarily takes self-referred clients. Anybody can get help by just showing up at a meeting or by calling the office. There are no forms to fill out and no registration necessary. Those requiring detox or inpatient treatment are referred to other local facilities. Clients who need dual diagnosis support are also provided with referrals to physicians or psychiatrists.

The PDAP McAllen program is a combination of structured individual sessions and peer support groups. Professional counseling is offered Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm and group therapy meetings are typically held in the afternoon and evenings. Clients at PDAP are provided with individualized treatment plans that typically last three to six months, with individual sessions once or twice a week and a certain number of required meetings, usually three or more.

On-site PDAP 12-step meetings happen in the place of traditional group therapy. PDAP group meetings are similar in format to other 12-step meetings, but have been modified to include time during the sharing for feedback from both peers and staff. There are specialized meetings for different age groups. At this location, the Younger Group is for those 12 to 17, the Older Group is for those 18 to 25 and the Adult Group is for anybody over 26. Programs also include family therapy if necessary, with a specialized group for family support. The Younger Group is the main focus of PDAP McAllen. This group is staffed with full-time counselors who provide the structure necessary to help teens make lasting behavioral changes. Young members who have experience in the program sponsor other teens. Counselors are also available to also work with at-risk teens after school in the rec center.

The PDAP McAllen staff includes certified therapists, CADCs and recovery coaches. Many of the professionals on staff are young adults who are in recovery but they are required to have counseling credentials.


The PDAP McAllen rec center provides a positive, safe place where teenagers, adults and family members can hang out and talk to counselors. Teenagers and young adults are encouraged to come to PDAP when they are not in school or work. They can shoot pool and play cards, video games or basketball in a non-threatening, sober environment.

Organized activities are held on Friday and Saturday nights and some Sundays. Activities include volleyball, softball, cookouts, trips to the beach and camping, as well as weekend retreats.

In Summary

PDAP McAllen is a great option for free, community-based treatment services for substance abuse. The PDAP program may not be a good fit for those who do not consider the 12-step approach the right fit or clients who require clinical-level care, but PDAP still provides a strong network of recovery resources for those in McAllen.

PDAP McAllen
115 N 9th St
McAllen, TX 78501

PDAP McAllen Cost: Free. Reach PDAP McAllen by phone at (956) 687-7714 or by email at [email protected]. Find PDAP McAllen on Facebook

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Photo courtesy of By Joel Pacheco (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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