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Thursday, June 1, 2023


Treatment in Buffalo, New York


Buffalo, NY is situated at the source of the Niagara River, on the Eastern shore of Lake Erie, and is the second-largest city in New York State. A British military engineer referred to nearby Buffalo Creek in his journal during the 1700s and this is ostensibly the origin of the city’s name. Enjoying a beautiful geography with its close proximity to the lake and the nearby Boston hills that graduate to the Appalachian Mountains, Buffalo is a beautiful city with much to offer residents. Substance abuse statistics are comparable to the rest of New York State, but particularly eastern Buffalo suburbs experience quite visible and rampant drug problems. Although addiction cuts across all social strata and is never, no matter the state or even country, possible to delineate it as a “poor” or “rich man’s” problem, the trafficking, dealing and far more public abuse in some eastern suburbs of Buffalo is alarming. Fortunately, there are plenty of Drug & Alcohol Rehab Centers in Buffalo, New York.

Buffalo is also unusual inasmuch as, very much like other upstate cities such as Rochester and Syracuse, around half of the once-burgeoning  city’s population has drifted away over the last half-century. Definitely a product of life post the depression of the 1930s, the population was once well over half a million people, but the Great Depression crushed growth and opportunity and this has since still never reversed. Also, there are some skewed statistics in Buffalo, where at the turn of the last century around 27 percent of residents were termed “poor” in terms of US government survey parameters. This is more than double the national average for American cities. Although in the past 17 years various initiatives have sought to address this sad statistic, not much has changed to date, in spite of some impressive federal government schemes aimed at alleviating joblessness and poverty.

Although not of particular import as route for trafficking drugs across country, Buffalo does feature as a storage point for some syndicates running drugs both north into Canada as well as across the US to feed the interior and even reaching the western states. DEA statistics don’t point to Buffalo as a particular hub or area of major concern, but what they do show is that Buffalo is not immune to the ravages of addiction, and the local office’s agents are as busy per capita as any other.

Giving Up in Buffalo

For anyone caught up in the ravages of substance abuse, Buffalo has an extensive network of support in the form of treatment centers and support groups. There is an enabling atmosphere present in the city. Much like new government thinking has started to target the citizenry in Buffalo, rather than attempt to revive Buffalo’s economy itself based on its geographical or industrial value, there is a very individual focus in the city when it comes to rehabilitation. Although there seems, indeed, to be a stronger correlation between poverty and abuse in Buffalo, following on from a disproportionately large percentage of the population that fall below the mean national income level, treatment is nonetheless geared for all. All echelons of society are seen to avail themselves of the route to rehabilitation at many centers throughout the city.

Admission: To Yourself and to the Process

Rehabilitation can only commence once someone has, often through brushes with the law or admission to ER, come to a point where they realize that the life of addiction they are living is not only darkening their world, but also dangerously unsustainable and not feasible anymore. For everyone, this moment varies and the circumstances surrounding the dawning realization that they need help also vary widely; but until the admission that they are lost in the arms of substance abuse comes, the suffering continues. Particularly in Buffalo, the drag on getting to this point is exacerbated by the economic stagnation that has generated tolerant social norms which help perpetuate lives of addiction. On the plus side, Buffalo has some experimental and highly engineered, specialized drug courts that are fully integrated with local rehabilitation centers. A vein of understanding and proactive opposition to drug abuse is also discernible in the office of the mayor as well as filtering down to law enforcement. While there is no greater acceptance of drug dealing or abuse in Buffalo by the police or DEA, there is nonetheless a more genteel and understanding approach to the issue than many other American states and cities.

Rehabilitation Treatment Options

For most, rehabilitation encompasses admission to a center where a full inpatient treatment process follows. A wholesale seclusion from the life that has gone before is often a dramatic shift and involves courage and willingness on the part of the person caught up in addiction. That said, there are a huge number of benefits that await those brave enough to admit their distaste for the life they are living and who are ready to abandon the grip of addiction. Medical evaluation and treatment, psychological support and an extensive, integrated approach await those who enter rehabilitation. Typically, the relief that ensues soon outweighs any sadness or symptoms of withdrawal. The successful rehabilitation of the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who seek some form of help in the state each year is testament to this. With a growing cognizance of the fact that punishment fails to both deter or cure drug-related social ills while rehabilitation shines as the optimal strategy, Buffalo’s overriding attitude towards addiction is conciliatory and accommodating, enabling a higher success rate for those who enter rehabilitation.

The New York State Office of Mental Health is also wide awake, proactive and heavily involved in facilitating rehabilitation in the state, including the city of Buffalo. Many private rehabilitation centers dot the city and well-known step programs provide valuable support on a voluntary attendance basis, particularly for those who have undergone rehabilitation and need a touchstone to enhance a sober future life, free of the malice of addiction.  


Residential treatment (RT) involves entering a center (C) to pursue an in-house, wholesale daily program of quitting addiction. As it comes with a physical separation from previous daily routines, triggers, supply lines and fellows, it is for many the most effective, logical route to follow in order to become free of addiction and regain a sober life. The inpatient nature of treatment comes with an inescapable admission that a person is here because their life had become unmanageable and the tax on their health, sanity and family had become too great. This in itself is a great starting point for many and the source of the relief they experience, knowing that by their own volition they have chosen to end addiction and reclaim their right to an unfettered, healthy existence. Inpatient treatment typically sees a patient undergoing a structured medical treatment program that enables the worst of the withdrawal symptoms to be capably managed. Coupled with this is a persistent support chain of daily activities, sharing and individual counselling, all of which enable a contextualizing and acceptance of the drain of addiction on the part of the patient. This is the first great relief on the road towards healing, that a person can view the dangerously skewed “normality” of their addiction in a new light. Priorities are reevaluated, an honest truth returns and the basic flip of bad-is-good is righted to where good is simply good and addiction an acknowledged negative.


Partial hospitalization (PHP) is another option for those seeking help with substance abuse. Partial hospitalization involves many of the aspects and inputs of full inpatient hospitalization, but is often a better option for some people due to their family or social obligations. Other factors beyond their control that need to be accommodated so that their lives stay on track in other arenas are also a component in considering PHP. The primary difference between RTC and PHP is that a patient has greater freedom of movement during the day and also usually sleeps at home at night. It involves a greater determination to actively avoid substance-related activities when beyond the confines of the center. PHP often enables parents, students and those with a demanding work regime to not upset the cart on those fronts and continue performing, while still undergoing rehabilitation. The same medical and psychological treatment ensues with PHP, and many daylight hours and most evenings will be spent on the rehabilitation center premises, much like the alternative inpatient approach. Statistics on Buffalo residents’ preferences on the various options available vary year on year and are often difficult to pinpoint clearly, but it’s really a matter of informed personal preference as to which route to follow. These options are all presented and decided upon in consultation with health care professionals at an initial assessment, once a person has approached a center for relief.

Outpatient (IOP) Treatment

Another very welcome option on rehabilitation is a program of outpatient treatment (IOP). Although outpatient treatment typically ensues after a spell as an inpatient at a rehabilitation center, many in Buffalo as elsewhere opt for a direct route to an outpatient program. It’s a personal preference as to which route to follow back to well-being, but some do find that a daily regime of checking in, possibly accompanied by medical treatment as well as partaking in various center activities is the best option for them. With a definite porosity available – outpatients can opt to pretty much join almost any center activity at the scheduled time – this option does demand a greater degree of self-management than either completely inpatient or even partial hospitalization treatment regimes. For many people suffering under addiction, however, this demand invokes a recognition of the fact that they do, in fact, have it in them to heal on the basis of an outpatient program. It’s not for everyone and many find the wholesale containment of an inpatient program far more reassuring, but this and other options are all discussed and evaluated prior to admission.

Although able to stay very much connected to the world, the same checks and balances are applied to outpatients as they are to inpatients, and outpatients are expected to follow strict practices to enable recovery. It appears that certain personalities are better able to manage recovery on an outpatient basis and, also, the balance demanded between an outpatient regime and daily life often brings a person’s addiction into the light in ways not illuminated by other options. Outpatient treatment is a very viable option and can be mulled over in conversation at the initial assessment.

Should I choose inpatient or outpatient?

An Initial Assessment and Preparedness

An initial assessment is essential to determine the nature and extent of substance abuse. Following on from this, various inputs are evaluated and various routes to discovery are discussed. This is done in a non-threatening and welcoming environment on the center’s premises, where someone addicted to drugs or alcohol can avail themselves of the various options.

An initial assessment is vital as it typically involves a medical examination as well as an interview with trained professionals who can skillfully evaluate a person’s current state of addiction as well as point them towards a regime of rehabilitation. Many factors are weighed in consideration of an optimal route to recovery. A person’s medical condition, personal circumstances and personal preferences are all holistically evaluated before a route to healing is chosen. Not only can this assessment flesh out the factual reality of someone’s addiction, it also very often grants a person the first spark of hope in realizing that there are, indeed, methodologies of cure and an entire network of trained personnel as well as fellow sufferers who are embracing rehabilitation. 

Medical Aid

Many patients remain unaware of the fact that health care plans will very often go a long way toward covering the costs of rehabilitation. Many are not aware of the recent decisions around mental health – under which substance abuse and addiction falls in the eyes of the legislature – that have put mental health on a par with physical health. While the acceptance of this reality and ensuing stipulations are aimed at care givers – nurses and doctors who treat patients for all ills, including addiction or substance-related misfortunes in ER and the like – there are ramifications for medical aids as well. It’s worth investigating to what extent one’s medical insurance will cover addiction rehabilitation.

A patient might want to look at this before attending an initial assessment interview at a center, however center staff are also very knowledgeable. Staff will have had years of experience in dealing not only with the extent of cover mandated by the federal government, but also the individual nuances of the various schemes. It’s often worth making this aspect of things a component of the initial interview to glean the aid of those who know their way around the arena extremely well.

How do I pay with insurance?


An important component of rehabilitation is the need to detox. Detoxifying the body post addiction is often a medical imperative, as the damage to tissues and organs from drug addiction needs assistance to heal. Cessation is the first step. Detoxing and the building of healthy eating, sleeping and activity regimes are also essential components of recovery that enable patients to look to a sober life beyond their current malaise. This is the slow, low-key aid that yet carries tremendous weight in the battle to remain substance-free for many addicted to alcohol or drugs. The term “detox” has also become synonymous with home-based practices by all and sundry – juicing, fasting, hot yoga and other pursuits – and today is employed to describe many practices of varying degrees of intensity.

A clinical detox, however, is aimed specifically at healing an addict’s body and mind from the ravages of their former life. It may involve dietary stipulations, “flushes” of the colon or the overall digestive system, consumption of supplements in combination with these inputs, or finely tuned meals and additional physical activity that induce the best effects from the process. It’s a very varied field and the center staff will have extensive knowledge of the best routes and practices that are applicable to individual needs. While a dramatic boost in energy can occur, more usually detoxing is a regime that pays slow but irreplaceable dividends on the road to recovery. It goes to building up an overall healthy physiology with the satisfaction of establishing healthy regimes and the mental determination involved also huge benefits of the process.

What is withdrawal? How long does it last?

Complimentary Activities and Services

While most centers have a core offering of compulsory activities and procedures like medical treatment, counselling and sharing, there are numerous other activities on offer at most centers in Buffalo. Services like chaperone drivers and escorts for those who feel the need for accompaniment to potentially tempting situations, emergency response telephonic or real-time support and other interventionist strategies have all been designed with the long-term sobriety of patients in mind.

Center staff will give patients an extensive list with all relevant details, geared as centers are for the effective rehabilitation of patients. Much experience goes into formulating these peripheral offers and patients are encouraged to avail themselves of these services rather than find themselves in any situation where they feel out of their depth and unable to handle the associated temptation. Apart from this, post-rehabilitation social groups and beneficial activity groups are also often encouraged as a means of living proudly and proactively sober on the outside. Yoga and massage therapy, group outdoor activities and even family weekend outings can happen as a component of both inpatient and outpatient programs. Peripheral yet essential education around anger management, assertiveness and other aspects of daily life are identified by staff and presented to patients as welcome additions to the core process of recovery.

Sober Living Support

Group and professional counselling is a bedrock component of a former addict’s ability to turn their lives around and quit substance. Center staff are always at pains to emphasize that, much as how substance became a wholesale definition of the addict’s life, so too does the extensive, often intensive and proactive interest and activity in healthy living need to be enabled as a way of life. For the addict, there is no such thing as too much. Likewise, there can be no such thing as an over-participation in sober living, as any beneficial habit, activity and even support for these activities in fellowship with recovered addicts strengthens the core foundation of a rehabilitated person’s journey forward.

Oftentimes at a step program session or even still within the rehabilitation center, patients are encouraged to choose a “sponsor”, a person who will become their go-to human in times of joy as well as temptation and angst. While typically this person will be a trained member of staff – a psychologist or other mental health care professional – at the outset of recovery, a “buddy” system usually ensues where former addicts support and encourage one another to live a clean life. The sharing between fellows is itself enabling, but there is a practical dimension to this too, where the default activity becomes no longer turning to substance, but rather turning to continuing supportive conversations and mutual activities. Mingling with those who have exited the darkness of addiction grants a tremendous sense of achievement and goes towards overall well-being for the rehabilitated patient.


Recovering from substance abuse in Buffalo is possible, available and actively encouraged by many agencies, both state and private. The city has a typical mix of substance abuse types for most American cities. Opiods like heroin lead the drug pack, after alcohol, but regardless of the substance at play, rehabilitation centers effectively treat thousands each year. State statistics are dire, where it is estimated that 12 percent of residents 12 years of age and older suffer from some form of addiction. That said, in concert with this alarming statistic, state facilities and agencies keep apace with the need for treatment and many options are available.

If you feel it’s time to stem the destruction that always ensues – subtly or overtly – from addiction to a substance, to escape a lifestyle of abuse and suffering, caring assistance is always available. Contact us for the information you need to seek treatment and rehabilitation, and we’ll professionally and gladly assist you in your journey of recovery.