Daytop Village Also Daytop For A Drug Free World

Daytop Village, Inc. (54 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018; 212-354-6000), which began in 1964, had its roots in a research project conducted by Alex Bassin and Joseph Shelly of the Probation Department of the Second Judicial District of the Supreme Court of New York. They were awarded a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to initiate a new approach for treating drug-addicted convicted felons. This new approach would offer an alternative to incarceration, in the form of a residential treatment center modeled roughly after Synanon. The founders of Daytop Village included Dr. Daniel Casriel, David Deitch, a former Synanon director, and Monsignor William B. O'Brien, a Roman Catholic priest.

Daytop's primary effort was long-term residential treatment, but by the mid-1970s, day-care models had been implemented, as well as discrete adult and adolescent programs. During the mid-1980s, Daytop expanded its program to include working adults—both after work and during special employer-contracted daytime hours. In the late 1980s Daytop instituted special programs for pregnant women.

The basic assumption underlying the Daytop treatment system is that drug dependence is a mix of educational, biomedical, emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial factors—and the treatment environment must attend to all of these. This philosophy serves as the basis for many successful treatment programs.

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