New Recovery Program Offers Hope for Men

Kady Younkman | Image by The Magdalen House

Addiction does not discriminate, and that is why The Magdalen House in Dallas has expanded to include a program for men.

“We saw a need,” Kady Younkman told The Dallas Express. “We get phone calls three to five times a week from men looking for programs we offer. We started this process about a year ago, looking at how we can provide those same services.”

Founded in 1987, The Magdalen House has, until now, been open only to women.

“Over the last year, we found a house, built programs out, and hired staff,” Younkman said. “We opened that program on January 16. The only difference between locations is gender. We believe it is very important to keep them separate for many reasons, such as client safety, and keep them focused on their recovery.”

Younkman is the chief community officer for The Magdalen House.

“I’m just one of many people on a team to get things going,” she said. “We have a lot of dedicated staff members who have worked countless hours on this.”

A not-for-profit organization, The Magdalen House is located on Gaston Avenue, but the men’s program is on Caddo Street.

“We offer all our services to the community completely free of charge,” Younkman explained to DX. “We are super-focused on curriculum, and we use the Alcoholics Anonymous ‘Big Book.’ We have three main programs.”

The Magdalen House clients are offered participation in:

First Step — A two-week, residential program for those with alcoholism who want to stop drinking but cannot end the habit. They are provided with education and resources to achieve sobriety and begin recovery.

Next Step — A three-phase, non-residential program for those with alcoholism at any stage of recovery. They are provided structure and education to sustain recovery while understanding 12-step “spiritual principles.”

Community — Solution-focused classes, workshops, and meetings provided for men and women with alcoholism at every stage of recovery every day of the year.

Resources and education — Community partnerships help connect alcoholic men and women and their families to programs that promote sobriety, provide counseling, and encourage healthy living.

“[The program is] based on the 12 principals,” Younkman said. “We hook them up with a sponsor and really get them on a path to recovery. We are not a clinical facility, though. Everything that we do and all the classes the clients participate in are taught by people in recovery themselves. That’s one of the things that makes us unique.”

The classes and workshops are open to anyone — not just clients.

“We encourage them to come because we are really education-focused,” Younkman said. “We want to teach people about what the disease of alcoholism is. If you don’t even understand that, it’s hard to begin that journey to long-term recovery.”

According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 17.1 million men had an alcohol use disorder in 2022. For women, that figure was 11.7 million. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is defined as a medical condition characterized by an inability to stop or control drinking.

AUD is considered a brain disorder and often leads to severe health problems, including liver disease, depression, heart disease, stomach bleeding, stroke, and cancers of the esophagus, pharynx, liver, rectum, colon, and larynx, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. AUD often complicates diabetes, increases blood pressure, and may cause sleep disorders.

Younkman is a recovering addict. She said she can identify with many of The Magdalen House’s clients.

“We have a disease,” she told The Dallas Express. “Something not right is happening in our bodies and in our minds. A lot of times, people need medical treatment. We’ve had people come in and we’ve done the screening process, and we start noticing things. We monitor them and check on them every hour. If they aren’t feeling okay, we get them to medical. We want to make sure they have the safest experience possible.”

But The Magdalen House is not for everyone.

“You have to call our admission line first,” Younkman said. “The call has to come from the person who wants help. We don’t take calls from family members who might say they have a loved one who is struggling. They have to want the help we are trying to give them. If we decide they qualify, they can come the same day.”

Once a client has reached the intake office, they must complete some paperwork and answer a few questions. Their luggage is searched to ensure they are not bringing contraband into the house.

“I needed that kind of help,” Younkman told DX. “I needed someone who was going to remove me from alcohol — physically separate me. This is what worked for me. We can’t convince you. You have to be convinced yourself. And there’s something to be said for someone who has been there and they know that shame and that desperation — all the ugly, dark feelings of the way they’ve been living their lives.”

The Magdalen House provides its services without insurance or state funding. The women’s house is located at 4513 Gaston Ave. The new house for men is located at 2100 Caddo St. For more information, call 214-324-9261.

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