In 1967, Phoenix House opened in New York City after Dr. Mitch Rosenthal came to the aid of six heroin addicts in a hospital detox unit. The newly clean addicts were worried that once they went back on the street they would relapse. Rosenthal, along with a group of licensed addiction counselors, approached them with a comprehensive treatment protocol. And thus, Phoenix House was born. Without the help of this non-profit organization, which provides care at little to no cost, many addicts who can’t afford treatment would be left behind.
Accommodations and Food
The Orange County facility accommodates 72 men and 15 women in separate, gender-specific buildings. The men are housed in rooms with up to four other residents, while women live with one or two other clients. Furnishings include bunk or twin beds, dressers, lamps and desks. The facility has a coed exercise room, which includes weights. While Phoenix House frowns on tobacco consumption, smoking is permitted outside in designated areas.
Residents eat three daily meals, along with snacks, inside a dining room. There are also vending machines available on site.
Treatment and Staff
Prior to admission, clients receive comprehensive assessments, along with individualized treatment plans. While the Orange County residential program does not offer detox, referrals can be made to other Phoenix House programs.
Upon arrival, residents are appointed a big brother or big sister who shows them the ropes. Weekly treatment includes group and individual therapy, case management and substance addiction education. Phoenix House Orange County utilizes the Therapeutic Community Model that includes peer feedback, behavioral modification, open communication and job assignments. It also employs evidence-based practices, specifically CBT and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET). The women’s program includes trauma-focused therapy, specifically Seeking Safety. Twelve-step recovery principles are not incorporated into this program.
A typical day at Santa Ana involves an early wake up call, followed by breakfast, a brief morning meeting where residents express their goals for that day, followed by chores. After tasks are completed, clients participate in a minimum of five daily groups and one weekly individual session. Groups are mainly gender-responsive and focus on topics like anger management, relapse prevention, triggers, co-occurring disorders and relationship issues.
Dual diagnosis support is included and clients requiring psychiatric medication are referred to a psychiatrist.
Staff includes LCSWs and substance abuse counselors.
Life skills classes are provided as a supplement to addiction treatment. Topics include parenting, vocational readiness, health and literacy improvement. The Orange County facility offers a family program for loved ones. Aftercare and sober living referrals are provided.
Former clients rave about Phoenix House Orange County, claiming that it saved their lives. While this facility does not offer a traditional 12-step approach, its trauma-informed care and gender-responsive programs are comprehensive. Phoenix House gives a second chance to those who can’t afford treatment.
Phoenix House Orange County
1207 East Fruit St
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phoenix House Orange County Cost: Sliding scale (30 days). Reach Phoenix House Orange County by phone at (714) 953-9373 or (844) 294-4683, or by email. Find Phoenix House on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram and YouTube
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