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In-School Drug and Alcohol Abuse Clinic Opens in New York State


A public high school in Long Island, New York is opening an in-house drug and alcohol abuse clinic. According to Daytop Treatment Services, which will run the clinic, it is the first such facility in New York State and possibly in the United States.

Reuters reports that the clinic is opening in response to a jump in substance abuse among students.  It will be housed at the William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, NY, and will open in August. The clinic will provide counseling, but will not dispense methadone or other medications.

The clinic will serve students who self-refer, those referred by the school as an alternative to suspension, and those ordered by a judge to undergo treatment. The school’s teachers and administration will not be told which students are participating in the program.

The clinic will serve an otherwise typical high school. Recovery high schools offer another approach to helping high school students struggling with substance abuse issues. These schools offer a safe and sober alternative for students struggling to avoid falling back into old harmful routines. The first recovery high school was established in 1987 in Minnesota. Currently, the Association of Recovery Schools has 22 member high schools in nine states.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Margaret
    Margaret / June 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I wonder if this program will be 12-step-based. If so, I would think there could be issues of separation of church and state in a public school since a number of higher courts have ruled that 12 step programs are religious. I agree that it will be difficult to protect the privacy of the students in the treatment program.

  2. meltee / June 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    If students enter treatment in lieu of suspension, school adminstrators will need documentation of attendance. More generally, it will be hard to avoid kids and teachers from noticing who goes into the room(s) set aside for the program.
    I wonder how issues of parental consent to treatment and payment will be handled.
    I wonder how this might be linked to affordable care act which had some provisions to enhance school based health services.
    There must have been a mountain of paperwork to climb to get this rolling!

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