The Los Angeles Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (LA CADA), established in 1971 by Dr. Ethan Allen, offers treatment for substance abuse, mental health and HIV/AIDS and serves about 5,000 clients every year. Allen House is the organization’s residential treatment center. Located in suburban Santa Fe Springs, it houses men and women, providing programs for recovery and co-occurring disorders in a quiet, therapeutic community.
Accommodations and Food
Rooms in the one-story Allen House building are spacious, generally fitting four beds to a room, with the exception of one room that has five beds. Men and women sleep in different wings of the facility, but come together for meals and groups. The entire facility has a total of 55 beds, and the typical ratio of men to women is three-to-one.
There is a common area for clients to relax and read, or work on group projects. No personal devices are allowed on the main campus with the exception of a CD player. There is also a workout room with weights for those who like to exercise on breaks and during down times.
An on-site chef who works with a nutritionist to provide healthy food to clients prepares three meals a day. For clients with food allergies, a doctor’s note detailing dietary restrictions is required before entering treatment.
Treatment and Staff
Allen House uses evidence-based techniques, including CBT, DBT, functional family therapy, exposure therapy and motivational interviewing. Dual diagnosis support is available, as well as trauma therapy. At the initial intake, counselors discuss individualized treatment programs that may include medication management, if needed. However, they do not admit anyone who needs medically supervised detox or methadone or who has serious health conditions that may require intensive medical care.
The facility follows a strict schedule so clients can learn healthy time-management habits. A typical day includes a 6:30 am wake up, followed by breakfast, then the first group therapy meeting of the day. Group sessions are usually one and a half to two hours long and emphasize healthy living and relapse prevention, as well as sharing. Lunch follows, then the second group of the day from 1 pm to 2:30 pm, followed by a short break where clients can relax and socialize. Final group is from 3 pm to 5 pm, then dinner, free time for visitors or individual sessions and lights out by 9:30 pm. One individual therapy session is scheduled per week for each client.
The staff at Allen House is made up of certified addiction specialists, health educators, psychiatrists and therapists who work closely with each individual to make sure their treatment plans and goals are being met.
Allen House provides transportation to off-site recreational activities like movies and sporting events for clients several times a week, as well as medical education and care for those with HIV. A family program is also available. After graduating the program, clients are eligible to apply for the transitional housing program, which offers sober living facilities for six to 12 months. Alumni of Allen House may return any time for free aftercare counseling.
Allen House provides a safe and structured community for those who are seeking treatment but can’t afford anything fancy. While this is not a facility that offers spa days or yoga, it is a place for those who need relief from the disease of addiction in a distraction-free environment. By quieting the din of everyday life, clients can focus on what is most important—their sobriety.
11121 Bloomfield Ave
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
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