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Our History

In 1967, six heroin addicts came together at a detoxification program in a New York hospital.

They talked about the struggles of staying clean and decided to help one another through the tough days ahead. Together, they moved into a brownstone on Manhattan’s West Side and lived as a community, encouraging and helping each other to stay sober. That is how Phoenix House was born. What made it work was the structure and approach to treatment brought to the fledgling program by psychiatrist Mitchell S. Rosenthal, M.D. and counselors from New York City’s Addiction Services Agency (ASA). As deputy commissioner of ASA for rehabilitation, Dr. Rosenthal made Phoenix House the model for a citywide treatment network.

In 1972, Phoenix House became an independent nonprofit organization and has since grown to become the nation’s leading provider of alcohol and drug abuse treatment and prevention services operating more than 120 programs in ten states. Currently, we care for a population of more than 5,000 men, women, and adolescents. We work with teens at risk, support clients in recovery, and offer a wide range of treatment options for adults and adolescents. These include assessment and evaluation, detoxification, outpatient and residential programs, sober living residences, after-school and day programs for teens, case management, special women’s services, and programs that serve substance abusers with mental health problems.

In 1983, Phoenix House opened its first Phoenix House Academy, a residential high school where teens can make up schooling lost to drugs and recapture opportunities for higher education and careers. In 2005, the Phoenix House Academy was designated a “model program” by the U.S. Department of Justice.