Phoenix House Foundation
New York, NY
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 123 programs in nine states.
The Center for Oral History Research is currently conducting an oral history project on Phoenix House.