With an inpatient facility in the town of Guilderland, New York, St. Peter’s Addiction Recovery Center, or SPARC, was founded in 1972. SPARC is the addiction recovery service of St. Peter’s Hospital in downtown Albany, which is seven miles away. For more than 30 years, SPARC has been treating people for alcohol and substance abuse problems using a variety of therapies and levels of treatment including outpatient, 28-day inpatient and its Men’s Community Residence, a transitional residential option where clients stay between three and six months. St. Peter’s Hospital was founded in 1869 by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy.
Accommodations and Food
SPARC’s inpatient facility has 40 beds in a co-ed hospital setting. Clients requiring detox are accommodated in a separate 18-bed ward of the hospital. Once medically stabilized, residents move to the 28-day inpatient program in Guilderland.
All meals are provided as well as a snack. Meals are prepared by SPARC staff and shared in the facility’s cafeteria. Special dietary restrictions are taken into consideration; clients are asked to make dietary restrictions clear upon admission.
Treatment and Staff
All clients must be medically stabilized prior to inpatient admission, and can utilize St. Peter’s detox ward. Following medical clearance, admission to the 28-day inpatient unit is available 24 hours a day. Several levels of treatment are available through SPARC depending on client needs and the intake assessment which includes medical, psychiatric and psychosocial evaluations.
In addition to a team of physicians, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, social workers, nurses and chemical dependency counselors, SPARC clients are served by volunteers and interns who have at least a year of sobriety. Medical stabilization is available throughout all levels of care for people suffering from physical symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol and other addictive substances, such as opiates and benzodiazepines.
Clients in the inpatient program get a 7 am wakeup call and breakfast, then attend individual and group therapy based on their individualized treatment plans. They receive individual counseling using CBT and DBT. Groups include spirituality and 12-step meetings, dual diagnosis counseling, substance education, medication management, relapse prevention, work skills and family programming. Lunch, snack and dinner are served between groups, and the day ends with common room relaxation as well as lower-impact meetings before lights out.
SPARC maintains six outpatient facilities throughout Albany and neighboring Schenectady and Saratoga counties with service to adults and—in certain locations—adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18.
Client attendance in SPARC’s IOP and outpatient program varies depending on need, and there is a comparable variety in programming options. Some clients may attend one or two group therapy sessions per week while others may do five; SPARC similarly individualizes outpatient treatment. In addition to groups offered to inpatient clients, outpatient clients can attend couples’ counseling, tobacco recovery services, self esteem groups and DWI counseling. Outpatient services are geared toward improving a substance-free daily life, so work skills groups and relationship counseling are part of discharge planning.
SPARC also offers day rehab, which allows clients to receive more immersive treatment without having to reside in the facility. Day rehab lasts from 9 am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday and consists of group therapy sessions throughout the day.
Yoga is offered to inpatient and day treatment clients and, as St. Peter’s was established as a Catholic hospital, spirituality programs and a chapel are also available. SPARC serves everyone regardless of faith or sexual orientation.
SPARC’s medical resources and highly trained staff are useful for addressing a spectrum of needs and acuity. With a number of affiliated locations, a hospital at its center and a foot in the recovery community, SPARC bridges the evidence-based and 12-step models.
St. Peter’s Hospital (SPARC headquarters)
315 S. Manning Blvd
Albany, NY 12208
3 Mercycare Ln
Guilderland, NY 12084
St. Peter’s Hospital (SPARC), Cost: $10, 248 (30 days): $100/hour for group therapy; $200/per hour for individual therapy; $250 flat fee for assessment. Most insurance is accepted, as is Medicaid. Reach St. Peter’s Hospital (SPARC) by phone at 518-452-6757.
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