This guide highlights how you can pick the best drug and alcohol rehab in New York. NYC is understandably competitive for addiction treatment centers.
Discover what to expect if you kickstart your recovery from addiction in NYC and check out the various treatment options at your disposal when you’re ready to move beyond alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) or substance use disorder (drug addiction).
Background of New York
New York State is the fourth most populous U.S. state known as The Big Apple and home to New York City (NYC).
There are five boroughs in New York City:
- The Bronx
- Staten Island
Stroll through Central Park and embrace the greenery, check out the Statue of Liberty, or visit the Empire State Building if you are recovering from addiction to drink or drugs at a New York rehab. From MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) to the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there is culture everywhere in the city that never sleeps.
There are also over 600 drug and alcohol rehabs in New York State.
New York Substance Abuse Statistics
In October 2017, the U.S.government declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. That year, more than 4,000 residents of New York died of drug overdoses. A recent message from the New York State Comptroller reports 5,800 deadly overdoses in New York in 2021.
Per NSDUH 2019:
- 18% of New York residents reported past-month binge drinking.
- Almost 15% of women in New York reported heavy drinking, a rate above the national average. Rates of heavy drinking in New York males was higher at 22%, although lower than the national average.
- Prescription drug abuse in New York is most prevalent in adults aged 18 to 25.
- Opioids were implicated in 70% of New York drug overdose deaths.
What is Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorder, is the clinical descriptor for an addiction presenting at the same time as a mental health disorder.
Addictions common to dual diagnoses include:
- Crack cocaine
- Prescription opioids
- Z-drugs like Ambien
Mental health conditions frequently diagnosed in people with co-occurring disorders include:
- Major depressive disorder
- Anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
Data from NSDUH 2020 (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) show that:
- 17 million adults in the U.S. had co-occurring disorders involving substance use disorders and AMIs (any mental illnesses). Data from NSDUH 2019 indicate that just 9.7 million were diagnosed with the same co-occurring disorders the previous year.
- 5.7 million adults in the U.S. had co-occurring disorders involving substance use disorders and SMIs (serious mental illnesses) in 2020.
Either the addiction or the mental health disorder can develop first in the case of co-occurring disorders.
The most favorable treatment outcomes for co-occurring disorders are generated by integrated and coordinated dual diagnosis treatment.
Addiction Treatment in New York
All addictions are unique, so the best drug or alcohol addiction treatment in New York will always be personalized but will draw from evidence-based behavioral interventions and pharmacological treatments. These include:
- Medication-Assisted Treatment
- Behavioral Therapies
- Motivational Therapies
MAT (medication-assisted treatment) is a research-backed intervention that is proven effective for the treatment of alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder.
The FDA approves the following medications for treating alcohol use disorder:
The FDA approves the following medications for treating opioid use disorder:
These medications can achieve the following:
- Streamline the drug or alcohol withdrawal process.
- Reduce the severity of cravings.
- Promote ongoing abstinence throughout treatment and recovery.
- Minimize the likelihood of relapse.
In addition to the medications approved by the FDA for the purposes of MAT, your treatment team may also administer medications to relieve various conditions, including:
Medication-assisted treatment is not delivered in isolation but rather in combination with counseling and psychotherapy (the clinical term for talk therapies like CBT and DBT.
Most of the best New York drug and alcohol rehab centers offer access to behavioral therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) as a core component of addiction treatment.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
CBT is proven effective for treating addictions and mental health conditions. You will work with a therapist, exploring the closely interrelated nature of your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.
You will identify your personal triggers for destructive behaviors like substance abuse. A therapist will then help you to develop healthy coping mechanisms, enabling you to manage stressors more effectively in your ongoing recovery.
DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
DBT is a variant of CBT that was created to treat borderline personality disorder.
Dialectical behavioral therapy is now more widely applied for the treatment of substance use disorder, mental health disorders, and dual diagnosis.
During DBT sessions, you will work closely with a therapist, learning how to become more accepting of emotional distress. You should become more tolerant and resilient in the face of emotional stressors as a result.
Motivational therapy is usually delivered in New York drug and alcohol rehabs as a supplement to behavioral therapies such as CBT or DBT. Common examples include:
- CM (Contingency Management)
- MI (Motivational Interviewing)
- CRA (Community Reinforcement Approach)
CM (Contingency Management)
Contingency management, commonly abbreviated to CM, is a form of motivational therapy that incentivizes positive behaviors like negative drug screens with small gifts or vouchers.
CM can be effective as part of a treatment plan for addictions to these substances:
- Prescription stimulants
MI (Motivational Interviewing)
MI involves an ongoing and collaborative dialogue between you and a credentialed therapist.
Rather than approaching the conversation as an expert, the therapist utilizes a neutral, collaborative approach, guiding you to implement changes based on personal values and goals.
Motivational therapy is a short-form treatment that can:
- Encourage you to create healthier coping techniques.
- Boost your motivation to make lasting changes.
- Strengthen your reasons for making behavioral or lifestyle changes.
CRA (Community Reinforcement Approach)
CRA (the community reinforcement approach) is frequently used in outpatient addiction treatment in New York – more on this just below.
CRA involves individual therapy sessions scheduled twice each week over a course of six months.
During the community reinforcement approach, you will discover how to:
- Create a robust sober support system.
- Prevent further substance abuse.
- Develop healthy new interests.
- Connect with vocational development services or counseling services as appropriate.
CRA can be an effective component of a treatment plan for these addictions:
Continuum of Care for Addiction Treatment
According to ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine), addiction treatment is delivered on a continuum spanning the following five levels:
- Early intervention services.
- Outpatient treatment.
- IOP (intensive outpatient program) and PHP (partial hospitalization program).
- Inpatient program (residential rehab).
- Intensive inpatient program.
Inpatient rehab is often referred to as residential rehab since you remain at the treatment facility for the duration of treatment. Most New York rehabs offer the following inpatient programs:
- 30-day inpatient rehab in New York
- 60-day inpatient rehab in New York
- 90-day inpatient rehab in New York
Inpatient New York rehab is typically recommended for:
- Moderate and severe substance use disorders.
- Dual diagnosis.
- For those with unsupportive home backgrounds.
You will have access to the same therapies in both inpatient and outpatient New York rehabs.
You can find the following outpatient treatment programs for addiction in New York:
- OP: outpatient program
- IOP: intensive outpatient program
- PHP: partial hospitalization program
Inpatient New York rehab is not typically recommended for:
- Mild substance use disorders.
- Transitioning from residential rehab in New York.
- A cost-effective and flexible approach to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.
Activities in New York
The best rehabs in New York will offer access to holistic therapies and activities to supplement evidence-based addiction treatment. Examples include:
- Tai chi
- Experiential adventure therapy
- EMDR therapy
- Animal-assisted therapy
- Music therapy
- Art therapy
- Exercise and sport programs
- Nutritional therapy
Participating in a wide range of activities in a New York rehab may spark interests that endure into your ongoing recovery.
Drug Rehab FAQ
Does New York accept Medicaid?
Yes. In New York, Medicaid provides cost-effective health coverage for over 7 million residents. 582 New York rehabs of a total 601 accept Medicaid.
Are there outpatient options in New York?
Yes. 409 New York drug and alcohol rehab centers offer outpatient treatment.
What areas have the most treatment centers in New York?
Many New York drug and alcohol rehab centers are located in New York City. You can also find addiction treatment centers in all major cities of the state, from Buffalo and the Bronx to Brooklyn and Manhattan.
What can you do in New York?
New York is the city that never sleeps. Visit the Statue of Liberty and take a tour of Ellis Island. Relax in Central Park and embrace the chaos of Times Square. Flex your credit card on Fifth Avenue. Take a Manhattan Sky Tour by helicopter. Finish the day with a dinner cruise along the Hudson River before some live music to end the night.