Southampton Town’s Opioid Addiction and Recovery Committee members discussed the possibility of a partnership to run a sober clubhouse for teenagers and young adults at the town-owned David W. Crohan Community Center in Flanders, where the town’s youth program will soon be transferred.
The clubhouse, which would be open to 12-to-21-year-olds, is a program devised by New York State’s Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services in which participants who are at risk or are already in recovery have a safe and sober environment to gather with each other for meetings or group activities. In the program, participants would be split into two groups, 12-to-18-year-olds and 18-to-21-year-olds.
The committee, which evolved from the town’s Opioid Addiction Task Force, a body formed to make recommendations to reduce drug use and overdoses in the community, originally set its sights on a Transformation, Healing, Recovery, Inspiration, Validation, and Empowerment or THRIVE center on the East End, similar to one for adults in Islandia, but that might be further away than originally thought.
“It’s very likely that there is some money for a clubhouse for the East End, but not for THRIVE right now,” said committee co-chair Nancy Lynott, who heads the town’s Youth Bureau.
Representatives from OASAS attended the committee’s July 19 meeting, and indicated there could be some grant money available for the clubhouse program, Lynott said. The representatives were open to both the town using the Clubhouse model and the program being run by an OASAS provider, according to Lynott. The program could be run in a portion of the Crohan Community Center and not affect other programs, such as those for senior citizens, she said.
Lynott said the committee and OASAS representatives only “causally discussed” the possibility and there is not yet a set plan for the program.
Committee co-chair Mark Epley, who runs Seafield Center, an in-patient and out-patient substance abuse treatment provider, said the clubhouse could provide an opportunity to help young people because it is often difficult for them adjust to recovery, especially on the East End, where there are so many temptations.
“Sometimes they feel like they can’t have fun anymore, and the reality is they actually have more fun,” he said.
Epley said the way the program would turn out would depend on where it is situated and should definitely include input from young people on what kinds of activities they would like to participate in.
Evan Frost, a deputy communications director for OASAS, said the possibility of using town-owned property was discussed at the meeting and about $250,000 in grant funding is available for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The agency does support the town’s pursuit of a clubhouse program and would provide guidance to them, he said.
The agency released the following statement from the agency: “OASAS has worked to establish innovative local, community-based services for people affected by addiction, in order to support [Governor Andrew Cuomo’s] efforts to ensure that services are available for anyone in need. These services include recovery centers, which offer a safe, substance-free environment for people in recovery from substance use disorders, and youth clubhouses, which offer similar services but are geared towards teens and young adults. We continue to work with our providers to expand these programs throughout New York State, in order to reach more people with important services.”
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he was not aware of what the committee discussed at its meeting and could not comment.