Based in San Jose, California, Amicus House has provided 12-step focused drug and alcohol treatment to the Silicon Valley area since 1989. This facility stemmed from a program called Moriah, Inc., a collection of seven different centers in the area. Amicus House is not only certified under the official Santa Clara County Drug and Alcohol Certification Program but also helped create and develop the actual guidelines.
Accommodations and Food
The Amicus House can have up to 14 residents during the primary care phase. The facility itself is nothing fancy—it looks a little like a converted barn. There is a basic kitchen and small dining area. Clients usually sleep in bunk beds, two-to-four people per room where things seem kind of tight.
Three meals a day are provided as part of the cost but clients are expected to prepare all of the food and clean up after themselves. Residents cook and clean and do their own laundry. Linens and towels are provided. This is hands on, life-skills training.
Treatment and Staff
The primary care phase of treatment lasts for 30 days and includes gender specific group counseling, individual counseling, 12-step meetings, family program, life skills education, addiction education and behavior modification. There is no detox at this facility and there is not a lot of qualified help for dual diagnosis clients.
Amicus House is owned by Lori Johnson, one of the original founders of the aforementioned Moriah, Inc., and an addiction specialist working in the field since 1990, who personally oversees each client’s individual journey in the program. Former clients and professionals in the addiction field continuously praise her specifically for being a core reason why people see success in this program.
A typical day of residential treatment at Amicus is pretty non-stop. Residents have an 8 am breakfast (and cleanup) followed by meditation and/or exercise, group education classes for two hours then lunch at noon. After lunch there is a group counseling session, with alternating days of gender specific sessions. Every afternoon at 3 pm clients receive individual counseling (length of time for these sessions can vary depending on number of counselors on-site and clients’ individual needs) then everyone participates in a 12-step meeting at 4 pm. Dinner is served at 5 pm, followed by clean up and another 12-step meeting. There is an end-of-the day recap at 10 pm before clients retire to their rooms for bed. This schedule totals 40 hours a week of combined counseling and education.
Once clients complete the first 30 days of treatment, they transition to outpatient care, which is a three-month process involving two to three counseling sessions a week. During this treatment stage, clients are in a sober living environment where they are working and/or going to school while also attending daily 12-step meetings, interacting with on-site staff and enjoying fellowship with other program participants.
Cell phones, laptops and tablets are strictly prohibited at Amicus House. Clients should bring 30 days worth of any medication they are prescribed upon entering treatment but should leave home any weapons, drug paraphernalia, mouthwash, magazines or electronics.
As part of their family programming, Amicus House conducts weekly family groups at the nearby Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church. Commencing at 7 pm, these sessions serve as Q&A for the loved ones of those in treatment as well as counseling around dealing with addicted family members.
Amicus House also offers a Work Release Program, which works closely with the Santa Clara County court system. Clients in this track have programming somewhat dictated by the court but are allotted 10 hours a day away from the facility, five days a week in order to go to legitimate jobs.
Although relatively inexpensive, prospective clients of Amicus House should make sure these services are the best fit for their unique needs before paying up. The overall lack of a medical component here might be a significant deterrent for those facing severe withdrawal symptoms or co-occurring disorders. Still, former clients and their loved ones consistently revere its dedication to the family.
466 South Buena Vista Ave
San Jose, CA 95126
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