A common aspect of addiction recovery is relapse. For decades, Victor Ferrer of Troy has battled addiction.  

“Oh, since I was a kid. I started using when I was 12 years old,” said Ferrer.

Now, at age 62, Victor is sober thanks in part to an integrated approach to treatment at Whitney Young Health on Dewitt Street in Albany.

“I’ve got to be very thankful, you know, to the counselors,” said Ferrer.

An open house Wednesday marked the official completion of a $1.1 million expansion project.

“This is a model for the community and it is state of the art,” said Whitney Young Health CEO Dr. Steve Giordano.

The center now has a primary health care wing, outpatient addiction treatment and mental health services.

"When clients that have behavioral health needs don’t have their primary care needs met, many of their chronic illnesses are exacerbated," said Whitney Young Health Chief Behavioral Health Officer Janice Prichett, "so they have higher rates of visits to the emergency departments [and] multiple inpatient hospitalizations."

Lisa Burke of Watervliet has been in recovery since 2007.

“This place saved me,” said Burke.

New services, such as counseling, help her continue to maintain sobriety.

“Those black cloudy days are gone for me. They’re done,” said Burke.

The center currently serves 300 through its methadone program and 50 through outpatient addiction treatment, with all patients now receiving primary care.

“When we collaborate with care, patients stay engaged more. When they stay engaged more, the recovery outcomes are better,” said Prichett.

The center is also looking to hire more clinical staff.