Refuge Recovery Centers Reviews, Cost, Complaints
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Refuge Recovery Centers in Los Angeles was founded in 2014 by renowned Buddhist teacher and Master’s-level addiction counselor Noah Levine and program director, Shannon Fowler. Levine is also author of several books including Dharma Punx: A Memoir and Against the Stream. Refuge Recovery provides outpatient treatment for those struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, as well as high end sober living facilities for clients.

Besides a multitude of evidence-based modalities, this rehab utilizes the unique Refuge Recovery model created by Levine, which incorporates meditation and Buddhist practice. Unlike AA/NA, which propagates the belief that alcoholics and addicts are powerless over their disease and require the assistance of a Higher Power, the philosophy behind Refuge Recovery is that by learning certain Buddhist tools individuals can tap into their inner power, attain enlightenment and gain freedom from addiction.

Accommodations and Food

There are two co-ed sober living houses—a tidy white house with a red front door in Hollywood and a grey two story Colonial style home in the hipster haven of Silverlake. Each furnished residence accommodates no more than ten clients who share double-occupancy or single rooms. Amenities include daily meditation sessions led by recovering addicts who were trained by Levine, Cable TV, laundry facilities, Internet, Wi-Fi, Against the Stream access, an onsite sweat lodge, and medication management. There is around-the-clock supervision by trained staff, and clients are subject to random drug and alcohol screenings.

A chef prepares meals in various styles of cuisine, including vegan, heart healthy and vegetarian options. Fresh salads are plentiful. Freshly brewed coffee is always available. The 30-day cost for sober living alone is $5,000.

Treatment and Staff

Prior to admission, clients undergo complete assessments by a licensed counselor and receive individualized treatment plans. Some clients reside at one of the transitional living facilities, while others commute from home. For residents, transportation is provided to and from Refuge Recovery Centers, appointments and Refuge Recovery meetings. Treatment length is typically about 90 days long, but sober living clients are welcome to stay longer at the houses. At Refuge Recovery Centers, detox is not provided, but referrals are made to local hospitals if necessary.

On a weekly basis, the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) runs 9 am to 3 pm Mondays through Fridays and the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) meets Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from  6:30 to 9:30 pm. Treatment in both programs includes individual and group therapy, family therapy, psychiatric consultations (as needed), yoga and daily meditation with Levine. Group topics include relapse prevention, life skills, somatic experiencing and anger management. Besides Buddhist philosophy, evidence-based modalities including EMDR, CBT, DBT, attachment theory, and motivational interviewing (MI) are utilized during treatment. Traditional psychotherapy and psychodrama techniques are also employed. Attendance at Refuge Recovery meetings off-site is also part of protocol.

A typical schedule includes daily meditation from 9 to 10 am. After meditation, if there are more than ten clients, they are split into two groups. There is a somatic experiencing group and a relapse prevention/attachment theory group scheduled from 10 to 11 am. The ten am groups are repeated again from 11 am to noon. This is done to keep the numbers of clients in each session small. From noon to one pm, there is a lunch break, followed by core Buddhist teaching from one to two pm, and a meditation skills class from two to three pm. Tuesdays there is a Refuge Recovery inventory workshop from one to two pm. On Wednesdays, Levine leads a process group from two to three pm. Thursdays are reserved for experiential therapy and processing groups. Experiential therapies include intensive writing workshops, art therapy and poetry. Friday afternoons include a photography/creative processing group from one to two pm.

Besides founders Levine and Fowler, the team of 21 staff members includes Clinical Director, Dr. Stephen Dansiger, who along with Levine previously founded the outpatient addiction treatment facility BLVD. There is also a clinical psychiatrist, Master’s-level therapists, three case managers, an art therapist, three group facilitators, four residential techs, administrative, outreach and admissions staff.


The houses are pet-friendly.

There are Refuge Recovery meetings next door to the drug rehab. While Buddhist practice is incorporated during treatment, clients are not required to be Buddhists nor are they prohibited from attending other recovery support groups, including 12-step meetings.

In Summary

Those who are interested in Buddhist teachings and looking for a 12-step alternative might find that Refuge Recovery Centers is the answer. By seeking enlightenment and doing some hard work in recovery, clients at Refuge Recovery have the chance to get sober and also attain inner peace and happiness.

Refuge Recovery Centers Location

4300 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029

Refuge Recovery Centers Cost

$25,000-$30,000 (30 days). Reach Refuge Recovery Centers by phone or text at (323) 207-0276 or by email at Find Refuge Recovery Centers on Linkedin, YouTube and Twitter

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