Founded in 1999 in Van Nuys, California, by Claude “Ike” Eichar, The Recovery Zone offers 12-step based sober living for men. Eichar struggled with his own addiction and got clean and sober, at the age of 45, on July 17, 1992. From his own personal experiences, he believes that safe and structured sober living facilities are lifelines for recovering alcoholics and addicts. Eichar has been the subject of several articles about sober living homes in the Los Angeles Daily News, and he has written an opinion piece of his own.
Accommodations and Amenities
Located in a quiet residential neighborhood, The Recovery Zone sits on a large property, which includes two family-style stucco houses that have red tiled roofs and are surrounded by trees. The Recovery Zone accommodates ten clients, who live in the front house. Eichar, who is the residential manager, lives in the back house and oversees operations. Clients share double-occupancy and spacious triple-occupancy rooms, which are sectioned off, allowing for ample privacy. Amenities include a house computer, Wi-Fi, cable TV and laundry facilities.
The family-style living room has eclectic furnishings, including comfortable couches, a round coffee table, a large television, hanging artwork and houseplants. The house has a cozy, welcoming quality and also includes a fully equipped kitchen, dining room and gym. Clients are responsible for their own groceries and meal preparation. Recovery Zone II has barbeque gatherings where residents have sober fun and participate in fellowship.
Rules and Regulations
Potential clients must have a desire to stay clean and sober, and exhibit a willingness to follow simple structure. Additionally, they must have already completed detox. While Recovery Zone accepts clients on psychiatric medications for co-occurring disorders, narcotic medications including benzodiazepines, opiates or amphetamines are not allowed on the premises.
Peer support is big at Recovery Zone, and residents are referred to as “council members,” where much like an Oxford House, the house runs on a democratic basis. Requirements include attending the council or house meeting Sunday nights 8 pm, performing household chores, acquiring and working with a sponsor, attending three weekly 12-step meetings and working the steps. Other requirements vary, on a case-by-case basis, and include attainment of employment or performance of community service.
The Recovery Zone is contracted with Walden House, and criminal justice clients who have completed an inpatient substance abuse program while incarcerated must attend outpatient treatment. Recovery Zone also works closely with The High Road program, Tarzana Treatment Center and Cri-Help.
During the first 30 days, the curfew is 11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, except for clients whose work schedules extend past the cut off times. After that time, clients are eligible for late night and overnight passes, on a case-by-case basis. Random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted, and at The Recovery Zone, residents who have relapsed are immediately evicted.
The current Recovery Zone is actually the Recovery Zone II, as the original house is no longer in operation. The Recovery Zone is a member of the Los Angeles County Sober Living Coalition, Sober Living Network, which enforces high standards from members.
In many ways, Eichar is an old timer who really understands the altruism of the AA fellowship, and the importance of one alcoholics helping another. He is passionate about the establishment of decent sober livings in the community. The Recovery Zone is an affordable, family-style house which is perfect for men who are eager to delve into their Big Books, and immerse themselves into a tight knit brotherhood that has an old school AA approach.
6626/6628 Gaviota Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91406
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