Our Adult Services program helps chemically-dependent adults take the crucial first steps towards recovery. This not only means accepting their physiological or psychological dependency, but also facing the relationship problems, economic hardships, or personal insecurities that may have pushed them to use drugs or alcohol in the first place. It means facing life on life’s terms, accepting personal responsibility – and doing so clean and sober.



Reasons for Referral

Addiction is a disease. Nonetheless, individuals are still responsible for their actions and must learn to address their problems. While there is no “cure,” treatment can and does help people regain control of their lives and escape from the downward spiral of addiction.
When someone is trying hard to hide their problem, here are some things to look for:

  • Criminal justice problems
  • Child welfare system involvement
  • Losing a job for no apparent reason
  • Changes in attitude towards work or social situations
  • Changes in relationships with friends and family members
  • Physical changes such as hyperactivity; sleepiness; a haggard, drawn appearance;
  • Loss of appetite
  • Behavioral changes, including isolation, depression; anger; sensitivity; defensiveness; aggression; spending time alone; or violence
  • Serious consequences resulting from drug or alcohol abuse (blackouts, DWI)

Program Philosophy

Recovery from drug or alcohol abuse occurs over various phases. Not every phase is equally long or equally difficult. But because drug or alcohol addiction is a lifelong illness, the recovery process exists forever, in one form or another.
Treatment at the YMCA, however, is a short-term process designed to help substance abusers develop the necessary skills to successfully maintain their ongoing recovery. Many positive changes often come out of the treatment process itself – new friendships, the discovery of new abilities and interests, and the realization that life can be good without being viewed through the haze of alcohol or drugs. We also refer clients in need to other treatment facilities for specialized care, and work with twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to provide continuing recovery services for our members.


“The YMCA saved my life.” – Kathy, 46


Program Goals

  • Become clean and sober
  • Develop skills for surviving adversity, both today and down the road
  • Build the self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-control to prevent relapse
  • Teach reliance on one’s own inner resources
  • Help establish the sense of empowerment that comes with self-reliance
  • Foster feelings of being valued as a friend or group member
  • Reassure that it’s ok to get help when you need it
  • Create a strong support network
  • Prepare individuals to develop sustainable employment and/or educational opportunities

“I always thought I could do it by myself – I’ll quit tomorrow or I’ll quit next time. I realized I couldn’t do it alone and the Y helped me.” – Andre, 32


The YMCA offers specific services designed to fulfill the special needs of our clients:

Women’s Program
The YMCA offers specialized services geared toward the needs of women. This program offers women-only group counseling sessions in which participants can address concerns such as domestic violence, family or parenting issues on their own terms. In addition, the program provides childcare services for our members with children.

Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment
The YMCA offers specialized services geared toward the needs of those who are recovering from both addiction and mental illness. Addressing both mental health and substance issues at the same time is proven to increase the individual's likelihood of success. Our program aims to address all of our clients' needs in an effort to enhance the effectiveness of their treatment.

Medication Assisted Treatment
Medication Assisted Treatment is widely recognized as a highly effective, best practice in the treatment of substance misuse disorders. MAT is the use of medication in conjunction with counseling and behavioral therapies in order to help individuals enter into and sustain recovery. Our on-site physician will assess an individual’s need for addiction medication and will continue to monitor and manage their medication throughout treatment and recovery.

Alternatives to Incarceration
The YMCA Counseling Service has a long and successful history of interfacing with the criminal justice system. Working closely with the local Treatment Court, the Department of Probation, Family Court Probation, the Department of Parole, and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), we provide courts and agencies with effective treatment alternatives that help substance abusers get back on track and avoid incarceration.

New Americans Welcome Center
The YMCA is committed to serving the newcomer/immigrant population of New York City. Our New Americans Welcome Center supports newcomers and immigrants in reaching their goals of employment, education, civic engagement, naturalization, cultural competence and upward mobility in the communities they live.

Parenting Skills
A 12-week program aimed at enhancing knowledge and understanding of the multi-faceted aspects of parenting. These classes take an in-depth look at child development, communication, discipline, child/family health, learning/play, stress, nutrition, budget, substance abuse, family violence and teen behavior. There is a nominal weekly fee for this program.