Helping people get sober for 60 years, Straight and Narrow is a Catholic treatment facility for substance abuse in the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey. This non-profit offers medical detox, long-term inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient services to men, women and adolescents in need. Paterson itself is not a major city, but the Straight and Narrow campus is still an urban environment. Integrated into the city, Straight and Narrow doesn’t cultivate the “bubble” atmosphere many treatment facilities do.
Accommodations and Food
Most services are offered at Straight and Narrow’s home base in Paterson, though outgrowths of the program are in Secaucus, Paramus and Passaic. The central facility in Paterson is about an hour’s drive from downtown Manhattan. Clients sleep in dorm-like settings and share bedrooms and bathrooms. They’re responsible for keeping their personal spaces tidy and can expect to do chores.
Men, women, and adolescents are all in separate programs. Housing and meals are in provided separate locations. Meals are served in a cafeteria three times a day. Straight and Narrow is not a closed campus so when clients go to meals, they are walking on a city sidewalk.
Treatment and Staff
Straight and Narrow clients withdrawing from alcohol, cocaine or heroin can detox at Mount Cornell Hospital. There are 20 beds available for the five days of detox and if necessary, they will be prescribed Suboxone to facilitate withdrawal. While in detox, clients meet with counselors to discuss their post-detox treatment plan. After detox, adult clients can move into gender-specific residential treatment.
Straight and Narrow has three facilities for adult women, two in Paterson and one 20 minutes away in Secaucus. These three facilities are distinguished for “Alpha I,” “Alpha II” and “Alpha III” level clients. Clients referred by Drug Court or the Mutual Agreement Program attend treatment for six months; those referred by other programs commit to a year. Pregnant women are accepted in these programs and can keep their children after birth. If clients with young children do not have resources for preschool, these children are welcome. Alpha III’s have an intensified program, where in addition to regular addiction services they are educated about parenting and child development.
The men’s residential program is only run out of the Paterson Straight and Narrow facility. All clients have individual and group therapy, didactic lectures about addiction and several on-site 12-step meetings (including Gamblers Anonymous) a week.
The six-month program for adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17 offers a range of therapeutic services as well as a full academic program and special group sessions on anger management and gang membership. Adolescents are encouraged to have fun in their recovery, and are treated to outings like sporting events, museum trips, plays, and picnics.
Straight and Narrow is a Catholic facility and pastoral counseling is provided to all clients. Clients also have access to parenting and GED classes. Dual diagnosis clients are supported though onsite medical and psychiatric services.
Straight and Narrow is aptly named—offering the path to virtue (or at least sobriety) to a wide range of clients. The extended length of the program and the academic programming, parenting, GED and vocational components are real strengths of treatment here.
Straight and Narrow
508 Straight St
PO Box 2738
Paterson, NJ 07501
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