Program offers clients a fresh start - Catholic Courier
CFC's Carolyn Portanova, Rita Augustine and Judy Azoff pose for a photo at the national meeting of Catholic Charities in Houston, Texas, in 1998. CFC's Carolyn Portanova, Rita Augustine and Judy Azoff pose for a photo at the national meeting of Catholic Charities in Houston, Texas, in 1998.

Program offers clients a fresh start

Catholic Family Center has been serving individuals affected by alcohol since its origin in the early 1900s. Specialized outreach, evaluation, referral and treatment services for chemically dependent individuals involved with the criminal justice system began in 1974 with the Restart Court Team. The program was initially licensed as a drug-free outpatient treatment service, which evolved into a medically supervised outpatient clinic. The program continued to develop over the years, adding an alcoholism clinic, separate residential treatment services for women and men, a day rehabilitation program, case-management programs, and eventually preventive, co-occurring mental-health and chemical-dependency treatment and medication-assisted treatment services.

Since its inception, Restart has had a commitment to outreach and service in the Latino community. The percentage of Latinos seeking treatment within the program increased exponentially following Restart’s initiative in 1993 to serve as the lead agency for the LaLucha Program, a highly successful three-year outreach, evaluation and treatment service located in the heart of the Latino community.

For many years Restart has offered chemical-dependency treatment for Spanish-speaking individuals. In the mid-1990s Restart initiated the first dual treatment program in Spanish for Latino clients with mental-health and substance-abuse issues.

Catholic Family Center’s Restart Outpatient Department administers the Recovery Connection program, a case-management service of the Monroe County Office of Mental Health. Recovery Connection was developed to address the needs of individuals who frequently receive in-patient detoxification or rehabilitation services and have difficulty achieving successful engagement in chemical-dependency treatment. The program is specifically structured to provide clients with the intensive case-management support required to successfully engage in outpatient treatment.

In 2008, Catholic Family Center initiated dual treatment for coexisting disorders and established a satellite mental-health clinic at Restart’s Troup Street location. Staff members serve clients so that their mental-health and chemical-dependency issues can be addressed simultaneously. This has allowed clients to develop an understanding of the interrelationship between their addictions and their mental-health problems, building effective relapse-prevention plans for both.

Catholic Family Center’s Restart Substance Abuse Services is one of the founding members of RecoveryNet, a consortium of 14 community-based chemical-dependency treatment programs. RecoveryNet’s mission is to ensure the availability of high-quality, community-based alcohol- and substance-abuse treatment in Monroe County. RecoveryNet offers a range of chemical-dependency treatments certified for delivery in New York state, taking advantage of the strengths and specialized programs of each member agency to create a seamless system of care for clients. Nearly 50 percent of people in New York state being treated for chemical abuse and dependency receive their care at a RecoveryNet agency.

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