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Here is a list of the most commonly asked questions we have come across regarding drug addiction and treatment.

"There's no such thing as a stupid question...."

What is Alternatives Counseling?

Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-for profit alcohol and substance abuse and prevention program licensed by NYS OASAS and offers a variety of services for anyone experiencing difficulty due to the use of alcohol and/or drugs.
Contact us at our Southampton office (631) 283-4440 or our Riverhead office at (631) 369-1200.


What kinds of counseling services does Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. offer?


This program provides substance abuse treatment, prevention and education services. We offer professional, confidential counseling services to youth and adults in the five East End towns of Long Island. These services include: * Individual Assessments * Evaluations * Individual Counseling * Group Counseling * Substance Abuse Recovery Groups * Education * Adolescent Groups * Young Adult Group * Professional’s Recovery Groups * Impaired Driver Recovery Groups * Supportive Services


What should I do if I have a problem with alcohol and/or other drugs?


Call Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. in Riverhead at 631-369-1200 or in Southampton at 631-283-4440 Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. offers a variety of services for anyone experiencing difficulty due to their use or a loved ones use of alcohol and/or drugs.


What kinds of substance abuse treatment services does Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. provide?


Treatment at Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. is individualized client centered counseling focusing on substance abuse. Services include: Men’s Recovery Groups, Women’s Recovery Groups, Young Adult Recovery Group, Adolescent Group, Anger Management, Relapse Recovery, Early Recovery, DWI/DUAI Groups, Professionals Recovery.

Does Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. provide services for adolescents?

Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. provides specialized adolescent prevention and treatment services. These services include individual counseling, adolescent substance abuse education series, adolescent treatment group and family therapy.


What are Parent Study Groups?


Parent Study Groups are offered to assist parents in developing more effective methods of dealing with their children and adolescents. Through discussion, the program focuses on understanding personality development, family roles, the use of natural and logical consequences, and the techniques necessary to assist your children in developing positive self-esteem. Daytime or evening groups are available. Please call (631-283-4440) to be placed on our mailing list.


What should I do if someone I love has a problem with drugs or alcohol?


Call Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. at 631-369-1200 for our Riverhead office or 631-283-4440 for our Southampton Office . Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. offers a variety of services for anyone with a close relationship with someone who use drugs or alcohol.


Does Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. offer prevention and education services?


Yes. Our Prevention Specialists are available to provide presentations to Elementary, Middle and High School, PTA’s and community organizations. Topics include but not limited to: Too Good For Drug, Too Good for Violence, The Wise Program for Seniors, Above the Influence, Parents Who Host Lose the Most. Active Parenting The Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. prevention and education services are offered at no cost to the schools and local community groups.


Where is Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. located?


Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. is in Riverhead at 518 East Main Street and in Southampton at 291 Hampton Road.

Is Alternatives Counseling Services located near public transportation?

Yes. Bus S92 stops in front of our Southampton location. It is also located .08 miles from the L.I.R.R. Southampton train station. The bus stop at Howell St. -west on Main St. is about 1 mile from our Riverhead location.

What are the operating hours for Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc.?


Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. operating hours vary based on location. Currently our operating hours are: Monday 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m (SH) and 9:00a.m.-8:00pm (RH) | Tuesday 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m (SH) and 9:00am-6:00p,m. (RH) | Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (SH) and 9:00a.m.-8:00p.m. (RH) | Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (SH) and 9:00a.m.-8:00p.m. (RH) | Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.(RH). Alternatives is closed on Friday at our Southampton location and at both locations on the weekends. *The office is also closed during federal and state holidays.


Does Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. charge for services?


Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit agency which receives funding from NY State and The Suffolk County Department of Health Services. These funds, combined with client fees, help to meet the operating costs for our treatment program. Fees are based on gross family income and number of dependents. Medicaid and most insurance is accepted.


How do I start counseling services at Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc.?


You would call us at 631-369-1200 for our Riverhead office and 631-283-4440 for our Southampton office. Please plan to spend 5 to 10 minutes on the telephone. A counselor will be available to speak with you to acquire some basic information about the problem you are experiencing, and to answer any question you may have. Then you will be scheduled for our soonest available intake assessment appointment.


How long do counseling sessions last?


Assessments last 60-90 minutes and is completed in 1 or 2 appointments. Individual counseling sessions normally last one hour. Group sessions are generally 1 to 1 1/2 hours. All clients are required to be seen for counseling at least once weekly.


If I need to cancel an appointment what should I do?


If you have a scheduled appointment, please call if it must be canceled or rescheduled for any reason. If you do not call, you may be charged for the missed appointment.


Is everything I say in counseling kept confidential?


Yes, for the most part. Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. is governed by Federal Laws of Confidentiality which are explained below:


Information about your treatment and care, including payment for care, is protected by two federal laws: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”)* and the Confidentiality Law**. Under these laws the program may not say to a person outside of the program that you attend the program, nor may the program disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser, or disclose any other protected information except as permitted by the federal laws referenced below. The program must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information about you for payment purposes. For example, the program must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information to your health insurer in order to be paid for services. Generally, you must also sign a written consent before the program can share information for treatment purposes or for health care operations. However, federal law permits the program to disclose information in the following circumstances without your written permission: 1. To program staff for the purposes of providing treatment and maintaining clinical records; 2. Pursuant to an agreement with a business associate (e.g. clinical laboratories, pharmacy, record storage services, billing services); 3. For research, audit or evaluations (e.g. State licensing review, accreditation, program data reporting as required by the State and/or Federal government); 4. To report a crime committed on the program’s premises or against program personnel; 5. To medical personnel in a medical/psychiatric emergency ; 6. To appropriate authorities to report suspected child abuse or neglect; 7. To report certain infectious illnesses as required by state law; 8. As allowed by a court order. Before the program can use or disclose any information about your health in a manner which is not described above, it must first obtain your specific written consent allowing it to make the disclosure. Any You may revoke such written consent in writing. (NOTE: Revoking a consent to disclose information to a court, probation department, parole office, etc. may violate an agreement that you have with that organization. Such a violation may result in legal consequences for you.)


How long before substance abuse treatment is completed?


Successful completion of treatment is an agreement between you and your primary counselor that you have completed all your stated goals for counseling and no longer wish this program’s services.


If I have completed treatment can I reenter treatment if I need to?


Once it has been agreed upon by counselor and client that treatment has been successfully completed, you will be given the option of returning to the program for follow-up counseling. A suggested schedule for the follow-up counseling will be provided for you by the program or you can decide on your own. If you do not wish any further services, that is your right.


What do I do in the case of an emergency?


You may call 631-369-1200 in Riverhead or 631-283-4440 in Southampton at any time during our hours of operation if you have any particular problem or crisis.


In case of after hours emergency call:


Suffolk County Substance Abuse Hotline at (631) 979-1700 or Response Hotline at (631) 751-7500

Please feel free to contact your counselor or Alternatives Counseling Services, Inc. at any time should you require assistance outside of your usual scheduled counseling visit. If you need to leave a message after hours, you may do so by calling (631) 369-1200 (RH) or 631-283-4440 (SH) and leaving your message on the answering machine.