Founded in the 1930s, Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center is a long-term treatment facility operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Commonly known as Acton Rehab, it provides residential substance abuse services for both men and women located in the quiet Mojave Desert community of Acton.
Accommodations and Food
Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center is located on 133 acres that are home to cacti, trees and wildflowers, as well as coyotes, blue jays, rabbits and squirrels. Cabins once used to house TB patients in the 1940s currently provide the living quarters for 137 men and 48 women in recovery. All treatment services, housing, recreational activities, dining and meetings are separated by gender.
One of the cabins can accommodate up to 24 residents. Cabins are cozy and freshly painted Navajo white or other pastel colors, with a small living room area furnished with couches and books. Lockers are provided for personal belongings. The exteriors are decorated with rock or flower gardens, created by residents. Bathrooms and showers are in separate buildings and equipped with modern sinks, toilets and shower stalls.
Meals are provided in dining rooms furnished with round tables and chairs. A large kitchen is separated from the dining area by a glass window. Residents are served three hot meals a day, cafeteria-style. Breakfast may include scrambled eggs, hot or cold cereal, juice and coffee (only in the mornings). Lunch includes Mexican cuisine, pizza or sandwiches, while the dinner menu may feature BBQ ribs, stuffed bell peppers, pot roast or turkey and mashed potatoes. Vegetarians and vegans will find themselves out of luck here, but they can stock up on leafy greens from the salad bar, which is available during lunch and dinner.
Two TVs are located on the premises, one of them inside one of the women’s cabins and the other outside, in a makeshift cinema area. TV watching is permitted during free time. There is a library, supplied with donated books and round tables for reading, as well as designated smoking areas, furnished with chairs, ashtrays and a large canopy tent. There’s also a laundromat on the premises.
Treatment and Staff
Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center combines the Matrix Model with evidence-based treatment and the 12-step approach to treat substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Treatment lasts between 90 and 120 days.
Residents must have three days of continuous sobriety to be admitted. While detox services are not provided, local referrals can be made. Residents undergo a complete evaluation prior to admittance. Those who score over 10 on a self-evaluation called a drink/use scale are referred for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). There is an on-staff physician to provide monitoring.
Weekly treatment includes individual therapy, group therapy, educational classes and mandatory attendance at daily on-site 12-step meetings. AA and NA panels are also brought to the rehab by local volunteers. Free Big Books are distributed to residents and they often connect with potential sponsors after panels. Therapy is CBT-based. Group topics include relapse prevention, mindfulness, and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Educational classes cover topics such as the disease concept of addiction, brain restoration and trauma recovery.
Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center offers ‘tele-psychiatry’ services for residents who require medication for co-occurring disorders. After coordinating with their counselor, residents “meet” inside a small private room with UCLA psychiatrists or other outside mental health providers via a TV screen. A “white noise” device outside the room ensures a resident’s privacy.
After 30 days, loved ones may visit on weekends. Residents who are mothers are the exceptions to this rule. They may be granted permission to see their children sooner, on a case-by-case basis. Cell phones and personal computers are forbidden, but payphone privileges are granted.
There are 75 employees on staff, including drivers, chefs and clerical support. The 20 mental health professionals include a clinical psychologist, CADCs, recreation therapists, Bachelor’s-level counselors and a physician. The mental health staff-to-client ratio is ten-to-one.
Recreational activities include exercise, hiking, yoga for women, gardening, an outside gym area complete with weights for men, and art therapy.
Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center offers “Co-occurring Drug Court-180 project” for criminal justice clients. The program includes 90 days of inpatient treatment and moral reconation therapy is integrated into treatment.
The M.O.M. (Moms on a Mission) program provides a six-month residential stay for young mothers, ages 18 to 25. Substance abuse treatment and dual diagnosis support is provided.
Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center is a serious treatment facility in a summer camp-like setting. The drawback is that only L.A. County residents are allowed into the state-funded program. With a caring, qualified staff and quaint little cabins, residents are allowed time to heal in peace. It is a recovery oasis in the desert.
Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center
30500 Arrastre Canyon Rd
Acton, CA 93510
Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center Cost: Sliding scale (90 days). Reach Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center by phone at (661) 223-8700.
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