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Design for Change


Lancaster CaliforniaDesign for Change Review

Design For Change is a peaceful sanctuary for holistic healing in Antelope Valley, Southern California. The facility offers adults a home-style environment in two gender specific homes. DFC’s treatment programs approach recovery from all angles by combining evidence-based modalities, 12-step immersion, holistic therapy and fitness. Founder Joseph Hunter is involved in each client’s recovery process by leading the family program. Detox is also available along with medication management for those in need of dual diagnosis support.

Accommodations and Food

Clients are housed in two separate gender-specific homes that hold up to six at a time. Homes are located right next door to one another and each has three double-occupancy bedrooms furnished with two twin-sized beds. All rooms are spacious with plenty of personal space, natural light, individual dressers and closet space. Each home also has a fully equipped kitchen, a living room with a TV, a dining room and a separate room for group meetings. The outside area has seating and a pool shared by residents of both houses available for use during free time.

There is an on-site chef who prepares three home-cooked meals daily. The menu includes a variety of dishes including pasta, pizza and chicken, as well as more nutritious options like vegetable soups, wraps and hearty salads. Every Saturday, residents take a trip to the grocery store where they can buy their own snacks.

Treatment and Staff

Length of treatment varies from 30 and 60 to 90-day programs but a minimum commitment of 30 days is required. Those in need have access to a sub-acute detox program lasting three to five days (which offers Suboxone for those coming off opiates). Clients with more severe withdrawal symptoms are referred to outside facilities that can better address their needs. Psychiatrists are also available to provide medication management.

The program consists of individual therapy once a week, group therapy, 12-step meetings, physical fitness and a mixture of holistic therapies. There are two back-to-back morning group meetings each day that focus on communication skills, relapse prevention, stress management, HIV awareness and the negative effects of substance abuse. Holistic therapies like art and music therapy are also available, as is nutrition education, Biosound treatment and psychodrama. These alternatives are mixed in with group sessions and are offered weekly. Clients are driven to two off-site 12-step meetings a day.

Each home keeps their meetings separate except for a Thursday night Big Book study meeting and a Friday night panel where an alumni or recovering alcoholic comes to DFC and speaks about their experience. 

Staff includes a psychiatrist, psychologists, LADCs and CADCs.


Three to four times a year, DFC holds a three-day family care program where each resident’s family is invited to participate in guided lectures. The event is aimed not only at educating families about substance abuse but also in providing them with coping skills for dealing with an addict in recovery. The program is led by Master’s-level psychologists with specialties in family therapy.

DFC also offers aftercare as a four week outpatient program. This consists of group therapy three days a week for three hours each session. Sessions are offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 to 9 pm and is available to clients who have completed the residential program as well as those simply seeking outpatient care. The group sessions mainly discuss relapse prevention and coping skills.

Additionally, clients are provided gym memberships at no extra charge. Women are taken to the gym on Mondays and Wednesdays while men go on Thursdays and Fridays.

In Summary

With various approaches to recovery and a limited number of clientele, Design for Change offers comprehensive and inexpensive help to those in need of treatment for addiction. The program is well rounded and best suited for adults who are ready to address all aspects of their substance abuse dependencies.

Design For Change Location

1066 E Avenue J
Lancaster, CA 93535

Design for Change Cost

$9,500 (30 days), $3,500 (outpatient, 30 days), $1,300 (sub-acute detox). Reach Design for Change at (877) 267-3646. Find Design for Change on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

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