Young Adult Programs

(Teenage girl and boy)

Clients are considered Young Adults if they are between the ages of 12 and 21.

Daytop offers teenagers three types of programs:

  • Full day outpatient
  • After school outpatient

(Young girl talking to a friend)
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When an adolescent enters a treatment program, substance abuse is only one issue that must be considered. The initial assessment of an adolescent client includes history of drug use, health and legal issues, just as for adult clients. Adolescents’ lives also include other factors which are strong influences on their situations and needs for recovery.


An adolescent’s home and family are of utmost importance. Family involvement in the treatment process has proven to greatly increase an adolescent’s continued recovery. Family therapy is an ongoing component of all treatment plans. Communication among family members changes when an adolescent uses drugs, and changes again as the teen recovers.

Therapeutic Activities

Daytop programs treat the whole person. The basic clinical tools are group and individual counseling, and positive peer pressure from fellow clients who are accomplishing their goals and won’t let another “get away with” inappropriate behavior or lack of participation. These basics are complemented by special groups and seminars which address specific needs. These supportive counseling activities include:

  • Family counseling
  • Crisis intervention
  • Stress management
  • Gender-specific groups
  • Goal planning
  • Relapse prevention
  • Trauma counseling
  • Mental health services


Education is another crucial part of the Daytop program. Adolescents who attend a full-day program go to school on site. One of the first signs of substance abuse for teens is seen in their performance in academics and school activities. In recovery, success at academics bolsters clients’ self confidence and prepare them to return to their neighborhood schools on a par with their peers. Daytop classes are small, and teachers target subject areas requiring remediation.

Teens from New York City are taught by New York City teachers. Those from suburban areas attend The Daytop Preparatory School, which is a registered nonpublic school with transferable credits. All teachers are state certified.

The Outpatient Program

(Three smiling teenage boys)
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Keeping the family unit together is the ideal, and if after assessment it is deemed likely that a teen will respond to the Outpatient Program, he or she may attend an Integrated Outpatient center located in or near the communities where they live.

Outpatient Aftercare

In the Aftercare program clients return to their neighborhood high schools, begin college, or start working. They continue to attend counseling and support groups at the Daytop center in the afternoon or evening. Counselors assist teens as they reintegrate with school and old friends, and encourage them in reaching new goals.

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A different life
I just wanted attention
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Did You Know????
  • Users of ecstasy and methamphetamine exhibit signs of brain damage similar to that suffered by victims of traumatic brain injuries.
    (Univ. of Florida)