Awakenings is a Whittier, California rehab that opened in 1988 for the deaf and hard of hearing. But that’s not the only unorthodox thing about it. Aside from offering a treatment track entirely in American Sign Language, its demographic is mostly the disenfranchised—meaning addicts with HIV/AIDS, the LGBTQ community, pregnant women, DUI offenders and those trying to avoid prison time. Awakenings is part of a bigger organization called Southern California Alcohol and Drug Programs, Inc., which also offers rehabilitation services through other facilities in Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. It was established in 1972 though the grassroots community efforts of community volunteers, and operates a number of affordable specialty centers throughout California; the main mission is to help those facing jail time have the option of rehabilitation instead.
Accommodations and Food
Awakenings is a co-ed center composed of four separate apartments with a total of 14 inpatient beds in plain bedrooms. Awakenings serves up three cafeteria-style meals and one snack every day.
Treatment and Staff
Because treatment focuses on helping what it calls disadvantaged populations, co-occurring disorders in this context tends to refer to homelessness, long-term welfare dependence, criminality and domestic violence, and Awakenings does its best to cut down on these problems as well as on addiction. Everything is based on the 12 steps and inpatient stays are much longer than average rehab centers (generally between 60 and 120 days). After beginning with a comprehensive needs-assessment, there’s individual therapy and group therapy, off-site 12-step meetings, case management and aftercare planning. Due to the nature of the problems addressed, the average age here is mostly between 20 and 44 years old, with a more or less even mix of African-Americans, Caucasians and Latinos.
Residents can expect an approximate two-to-one client-to-staff ratio with 12 drug and addiction counselors, all of whom are deaf and in recovery themselves. Unfortunately, there are no psychiatric or medical professionals on site, so there isn’t much in the way of dual diagnosis support. Being a non-medical center also means that residents will have to find a place to detox elsewhere.
After initial treatment, Awakenings also offers transitional-to-permanent living (in some cases) right next door at the Awakenings Village apartment complex, though getting an apartment requires an additional psych screen and follow-up; the good news is that it recently added an additional 10 beds through a government HUD (Housing Urban Development) grant. Beyond that, outpatient services are also offered at the residential location, and all programs are available on a sliding pay scale.
For a specific demographic, Awakenings could provide a life-saving opportunity.
12322 Clearglen Ave
Whittier, CA 90604
Awakenings Cost: Sliding Scale (30 days). Reach Awakenings by phone at (562) 242-1074 or by email at [email protected].
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